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Calf and Heifer Nutrition Amin Ahmadzadeh Animal and Veterinary Science Department University of Idaho Other Sources: Dairy Cattle Science, 1st edition.

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Presentation on theme: "Calf and Heifer Nutrition Amin Ahmadzadeh Animal and Veterinary Science Department University of Idaho Other Sources: Dairy Cattle Science, 1st edition."— Presentation transcript:


2 Calf and Heifer Nutrition Amin Ahmadzadeh Animal and Veterinary Science Department University of Idaho Other Sources: Dairy Cattle Science, 1st edition. Editor Tyler Slides courtesy of Dr. H.D. Tyler, Iowa State University

3 Raising Heifer Provide replacements for cows leaving the herd Improve genetics and production raised heifers economically Future investment –Minimize ---------------------------- –Try for rapid growth and development –Minimize ---------------increase --------------------

4 Starts with the cow –clean --------------------------------- –aid in calf delivery to avoid ----------------------- –dystocia (difficult birth) leads to stillbirths neonate mortality colostrum deprivation Goal is to minimize calf mortality and morbidity to allow for rapid growth and development

5 Dystocia Any abnormal or difficult delivery process –Poor communication between the fetal calf and it’s dam –Malpresentation of the calf –Difficulties due to inappropriate assistance Scoring system for calving ease –5 point system –Score of 1 indicates -------------------------------------- Unobserved calvings are scored 1 by definition

6 Fig 45-1. Malpresentations, such as this backwards presentation, are more common in multiparous than in primiparous cows (Courtesy of Howard Tyler, Iowa State Univ.)

7 Fig 45-2. Mechanical calf jacks can generate over 1700 pounds of force on the calf and should only be utilized in extreme situations and with extreme care (Courtesy of Iowa State University, Iowa State Univ. )

8 Care of the Born Calf Stimulation of RespirationStimulation of Respiration –Remove the excess mucus from the nasal passage and mouth –Removal of accumulated ---------------------------- Lifting the calf by the hind legs Applying bilateral pressure on the ribcage and forward motion from the abdomen to the neck –Tickling nasal passage with a piece of straw

9 Care of the Born Calf –Examination of the mouth and the nose –Undesirable ----------------------------------- –Extra attention to calves born with assistance –Freemartin –--------------------------------------------------- –Separation from -------------------------- Physical examination and identification of the calf

10 Care of the Born Calf –Reduce the risk of -------------------------------------- ------------------------ –Saturate the navel with ------------------------------- Use laboratory squeeze bottle Navel cord and area around it should be saturated REMEMBER!! Poor sanitation and mismanagement of the calving area cannot be overcome by navel dipping Navel disinfection (within 2 hr of birth)

11 The desired outcome of a successful reproductive program is a health, live calf (Courtesy of Mark Kirkpatrick, Pfizer Animal Health)

12 Colostrum Management Colostrum Collection Bloody colostrum and colostrum collected from a cow with ---------------- must be discharged Using colostrometer & after cooling down, check the quality (> ---------- mg/ml IgG) Extra high quality colostrum should be stored in 2 qt. jugs and kept below 0 O C –Indicate the IgG Concentration on the jug –@ 4 O C for max. 2 days

13 Colostrum Management Colostrum feedingColostrum feeding –--------------------- of top quality colostrum (70-100 mg/ml IgG) within < 4 hr after birth –A second ------------of colostrum before -----------after birth Colostrum Mgt.Colostrum Mgt. –Keep a good record of colostrum quality for each cow/heifer –Quality of colostrum fed to the calf should be recorded

14 Calves that won't voluntarily consume colostrum are force fed with an esophageal feeder (adapted from Dairy Cattle Science, Courtesy of Emily Barrick)

15 Colostrum feedingColostrum feeding Colostrum Mgt.Colostrum Mgt. ------------------------------- ------------------------------- Efficiency of Ig absorption

16 Calf Housing Clan, dry, good ventilation, prevent calf-to-calf contact (e.g. calf hutches) Wet and filthy bedding must be avoided –Smooth river rocks [6-8 inches] Keep -------------------------------------------- or use every other pen (when you can) Place the hutches for ---------------------------

17 Feeding the Young Calf (Liquid Feed) After colostrum feeding:After colostrum feeding: –Liquid: transition milk @ ------------------------- birth wt. for 3-4 days –thereafter both liquid and dry feed until weaning

18 Extra Points about the Calf Starter Starter should contain enough coarse ingredients –Mixture of ----------- chopped hay and ------------ ---- starter Starter should always be available Feed proper amount daily to keep the feed fresh Keep the starter away from -------------------------

19 Stimulating Rumen Development Fresh water should be available to calf from birth –Calves easily dehydrate –Free water intake is crucial for maintaining a normal rumen environment Increases dry matter intake

20 The amount of calf starter fed daily should be limited to just slightly more than the calf consumes in the same period (Courtesy of Iowa State University)

21 Courtesy of Dr. Kincaid, WSU

22 Dehorning Can be accomplished as early as --------------- of age Use an electric or gas dehorner the quickest, the most effective Gas dehorners cauterize the blood supply to the horn bud and effectively dehorn without leaving an open wound (Courtesy of Dr. Mark Kirkpatrick, Pfizer Animal Health)

23 Fig 45-20. Barnes type dehorners are most commonly used on older calves, and this technique requires removal of all horn bud tissue for success (Courtesy of Dr. Mark Kirkpatrick; Pfizer Animal Health)

24 Removing Supernumary Teats Extra teats have no value and may interfere with milking Should be removed when calf is ------------ months of age Usually little bleeding when teats are properly removed

25 Weaning When to wean a calf –------------- weeks of age –When calf steadily eats about ----------- of calf starter –Gaining.8 lb/day by 6 wks (~ 130-140 lbs) Small wt. loss after weaning can occur when calves do not consume enough starter

26 Calf-hood Health and Disease Management Minimize pathogen exposure –Sanitation Maternity stall Calves housed in clean, well-ventilated area –Minimizing contacts Individual housing systems Adequate space between calves –People exposed to calves practice good hygiene Care for calves prior to older animals Develop chore routine to minimize pathogen transmission

27 Weaning Weaning is stressful, do not do other mgt. practices that are stressful Keep the calf in the hutch for about --------- ------------- days after weaning Begin the grower feed


29 From Weaning to Breeding Heifers should be moved to a group pen Start feeding calf grower diet Calf grower can be fed, ad libitum, until ------ -------------- age Feeding -------------------is not advisable Provide good quality hay Do not forget clean and adequate water Provide an adequate feeder space

30 Managing Heifer Development Goals: Provide replacements for cows leaving the herd Improve genetics and production Raise heifers efficiently and economically ___________________ I.Age at calving II.Body size at calving III.Controlling Expense – feed and labor IV.Ease of care V.Optimizing Health

31 Age at calving Body size at calving The recommended goal for dairy replacement Holstein heifers: –Calving at ------------------months of age –Post-calving BW of-----------------.

32 1200-1250 post-calving weight supports optimum 1 st lactation milk yield Over-conditioned heifers do not perform well and have reduced milk yield Remember: 1200-1250 lb. Post-calving weight translates to a 1300-1350 lb pre- calving weight

33 Should We Forget about Age? Calving age, at when heifers reaches to 1250, is important Late calving translates to less productive life Late calving translates to larger expenses $$  rearing heifers (birth to calving)= $1800 - $2000 $$  The earlier the lactation occurs, the sooner the initial investment will be returned

34 Check These Numbers  Delayed calving beyond 24 months  rearing costs = $50/mo/heifer

35 Attaining 1250 lb in 24 Months ADG of ---------------------from birth to pre- calving (~1350 lb.) Sexual maturity of Holstein heifers begins at ~ ------------------------------ (around 9-10 months of age)

36 –Maximum lb gain/day = 1.8 lb –Achieve 800 lb & 48" height at 14 months of age –ADG < 1.5 lb is unacceptable and not economical –ADG > 2.0 lb might be problematic and detrimental to milk yield Attaining 1250 lb in 24 Months

37 Age (mo.)Body weight (lbs.) Wither height (inches) 1130-13531.7-33.2 3226-24435.2-37.1 5323-35438.4-40.4 7420-46341.1-43.3 8469-51842.3-44.5 9518-57243.4-44.5 11615-68245.4-47.6 13712-79147.1-49.3 14761-86447.8-50.0 16858-95649.0-51.2 18956-106550.2-52.1 201053-117451.0-53.0 221150-128451.7-55.0 241247-139352.2-56.5 Recommended ranges of BW and wither height for Holstein heifers Adapted from Looper and Bethard The progressive Dairyman

38 Fig 46-1. Heifer weight can be accurately estimated by measuring heart girth using a weight tape (Courtesy of Iowa State University)

39 Measure weight and height Control growth KEY TO SUCCESS IN HEIFER RAISING

40 Breeding Age Heifers Breeding age (------------- months) –Body condition score –Wither height measurement –Balanced ration: ~-----------------DM Make sure that heifers do not loose BW and body condition at this stage.


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