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Feeding System

Feeding Systems

The two most common feeding systems used by calf rearers are twice-a-day and once-a-day. Most dairy farmers now fortify liquid whole milk with calf milk replacer and use the once-a-day method as more meal is consumed and growth rate is higher due to earlier rumen development. This also helps reduce the cost.

Comparison between once-a-day feeding and twice-a-day feeding

Once A Day Feeding
  • Add the CMR to warm water (40°C). Allow it to cool until it reaches 36°C before feeding.
  • Fortify whole milk with CMR. Goal is to aim for 600 grams of milk solids per day.
  • The once-a-day feeding system works best when restricting the concentration of milk and decreasing the volume encouraging meal consumption. This will allow an earlier rumen maturity as well as higher weaning weights.
  • It is recommended to feed in the morning.
  • The feed concentration will vary. It should be increased as the calf matures.
  • Calf weaned off milk at 65kg, when meal concentration is increased.

Suggested Feeding Rate

*After 5 days only

Twice A Day Feeding
  • Add the CMR to warm water (40°C). Allow it to cool until it reaches 36°C before feeding.
  • Feed the calves once in the morning and once in the evening. Leave 8 hours between feeding.
  • Feed concentration is constant at 150 grams until weaning.

Suggested Feeding Rate

Follow the same feeding routine each day

In an ideal case, the same person should feed the calves everyday. This will allow the calves to be familiar to a certain feeding routing, especially at the initial phase. A constant rearer will be able to get to know the individual calf and solutions to any feeding issues. The feeding, cleaning and animal health requirements must be adhered to rigorously and immediately.


Bringing the milk to the calves

If possible, the rearer should bring the milk to the calves instead of the other way around. This will make the calves feel more relaxed and more likely to drink their share of milk.

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