TotalDairy Seminar Reassess calf feeding rates to maximise future performance

In a TotalDairy Seminar workshop on youngstock nutrition and growth, Professor Sergio Calsagmiglia emphasised the importance of investing in early heifer growth to benefit from better performance in lactation and said there was a need to reassess feed management.

"After weaning you should aim for daily live weight gains of 900g/day, but the main limitation of the that is the protein level in 880 7470 02the concentrate," he said at the recent event at Tortworth Court, Gloucestershire.

He recommended calves receive a concentrate or 24-26% crude protein during the milk feeding stage, versus a norm of 20-22%. He also suggested increasing levels from 18% to 22% in starter concentrate and from 16% to 18% when heifers were 4-7 months old.

"Increasing crude protein throughout the calf rearing period has been shown to increase yields in each of the subsequent lactations by 500-1,000kg," he said.

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