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Calf Feeding

The survival and health of calves depend on a successful feeding regime. Colostrum, an immune-boosting form of milk, is necessary for the survival of calves, while milk replacers and supplemental feeding, such as creep feeding, prepare calves physically and metabolically for weaning.

Topics:
Colostrum
Creep Feeding
Milk Replacers

Colostrum

To Nurse or Not to Nurse
Dr. Jim Quigley, Calfnotes.com
Born without the passive immunity so critical to their survival, calves rely on antibodies found in Colostrum. Nursing, however, rarely provides the amount of Colostrum calves need; nipple bottle or esophageal feeding is much more effective. (PDF)

Colostrum Intake and Milk Production
Dr. Jim Quigley, Calfnotes.com
Report of a study showing the benefits of increasing colostrum intake. (PDF)

Colostrum Feeding - How Much Colostrum to Feed?
Dr. Jim Quigley, Calfnotes.com
Feeding calves too little colostrum constitutes a much greater risk than feeding them too much. (PDF)

Timing of Colostrum Feeding
Dr. Jim Quigley, Calfnotes.com
Calves should be fed colostrum within hours of birth, since their ability to absorb the critical immune-boosting milk decreases with each passing hour. Once 24 hours have elapsed, the calves' chances of survival, as this veterinarian has put it, "are not great." (PDF)

Using the Colostromoter to Measure Colostrum Quality
Dr. Jim Quigley, Calfnotes.com
Colostrometers estimate the quality of colostrum, although some researchers have reservations about their effectiveness. (PDF)

Using the Esophageal Feeder to Administer Colostrum
Dr. Jim Quigley, Calfnotes.com
Research shows that esophageal feeding is an effective way to feed a reluctant calf. (PDF)

Creep Feeding

Creep Feeding Beef Calves
Tom Hamilton, Beef Cattle Specialist, Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
The essentials of creep feeding, the practice of supplementally feeding calves before weaning.

Creep Feeding
Alberta Agriculture and Food
The advantages and disadvantages of creep feeding.

Creep Feeding Calculator
Alberta Agriculture and Food
Determine whether creep feeding will be beneficial to your livestock operation.

Milk and Milk Replacers

Measures of Milk Replacer Quality
Dr. Jim Quigley, Calfnotes.com
Certain measures help determine the quality of milk replacers, which, as this factsheet states, affect calf performance prior to weaning. (PDF)

Cost of Milk vs. Milk Replacer
Dr. Jim Quigley, Calfnotes.com
Calculate how much you can save by using milk replacer instead of regular milk.

E.Coli Shedding in Calves Fed Milk Replacer without and with Antibiotics
Dr. Jim Quigley, Calfnotes.com
Antibiotic resistance has rendered some kinds of milk replacers more effective than others.

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