Calves can be perfectly content when fed milk on a once-a-day feeding roster right from the start.
The trick is to get them onto a high rate of milk straight after they have had their gold colostrum and are drinking properly, says Chris Collier - founder of Probiotic Revolution.
He says more and more farmers are successfully doing this thanks to the addition of Calf Xtreme provided by Probiotic Revolution.
“It is the live yeast we use that helps stop nutritional scours when the high rate of milk spills from the abomasum into the rumen.
“And at the high rate of milk the digestive enzymes we use break down meal, hay and grass, resulting in surprisingly good levels of intake of these feeds.
“We have been into sheds where the only calves bellowing at us are the ones on twice-a-day feeding.”
Last season 80,000 calves were reared using Calf Xtreme, the great majority of which were on once-a-day feeding within a week.
A Te Awamutu farmer and customer Nick, first used Calf Xtreme at double dose rates to help overcome a Rotavirus outbreak.
“Now, after they have had their gold colostrum, his crossbred calves go straight onto once a day feeding, building up to six litres after a week. Nick starts calving mid-July and by mid-December his heifers weighed 155kg.
“Our calves are perfectly happy on this system and the results speak for themselves,” Nick says
If calves are healthy and contented on this system farmers will find calf rearing very satisfying and rewarding.