Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Forage for Weaned Calves
In a recent article, "Inspection Time: How to do an effective calf walkthrough," by Steve Hayes published in Progressive Dairyman (May 1, 2013, vol 27, No. 7, pp78-79) there was a really good note about managing forages for weaned calves.
"Do not change forage consumption for the first week in group pens. If no forage was offered to calves on milk, then no forage should be offered in the first week in the pen. Forage can be successfully introduced after one week."
Great advice.  I would add my recommendation that when the forage is introduced for the first time in these pens I like to see only enough fed the first week that they can clean up in a short time each day. For example, enough hay or haylage to last for an hour (assumes enough space so all the calves have access to the forage at the same time).
SeeTransition calf feeding management  for additional tips for managing adding forages to the ration.

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