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Fooder - Cattle Farm

Fooder Development for Cattle Farm

In feeding whole milk, calves may be fed as per feeding schedule. While feeding whole milk the following points should be remembered.

  1. As far as possible provide milk from the calf's mother.
  2. Feed milk immediately after it is drawn.
  3. The total amount of milk may be fed at 3 or 4 equal intervals up to the age of 7 days and then twice daily.

Feeding skim milk

On many farms, large quantities of separated milk are available for feeding to calves and other livestock.  Excellent dairy calves can be raised by changing them from whole milk gradually after two weeks of their age.   Here again the feeding schedule should be followed.

Feeding dried skim milk, whey or buttermilk

The above dried products are mixed with water at the rate of 1 kg to 9 kg of water and then it is fed as skim milk.  To avoid digestive troubles the mix should always be fed to calves after warming it up to 100oF.

Feeding calf starters

Calf starter is a mixture consisting of ground farm grains, protein feeds and minerals, vitamins and antibiotics.  After a calf attains the age of 2 weeks the amount of whole milk given to it may be cut down.  One should then rub a small amount of starter on the calf's mouth, after each milk feeding for a few days when the calf will be accustomed to it.  When they reach four months of age, one should then transfer the calves to a "growing" grain ration.

Feeding grain mixture

Better growth and greater resistance to calf ailments result from consumption of grain and milk by the calf then when the calf is fed only on milk.  At the age of 7-15 days the feeding of grain mixtures may be started.  In order to get calves accustomed to grain mixtures, place a small handful of grain mixture in the used pail.  As the calf is finishing its milk it may consume a portion, or one may offer a little in the hand immediately after feeding milk.

Excessive protein rich grain mixture is not desirable as milk is already rich in proteins.  A medium protein grain mixture is most suitable when milk is fed freely. A grain mixture of oats - 35 percent, linseed cake - 5 percent, bran - 30 percent, barley - 10 percent, groundnut cake - 20 percent may be fed to the calves.  Another good mixture consists of ground maize - 2 parts, wheat bran - 2parts.

(Source: Dr. C. Paul Princely Rajkumar, AC&RI, Madurai)

Table 1.  Feeding schedule for calves up to 6 months

Age of calf Approx. body weight (kg) Quantity of milk (kg) Quantity of calf starter (g) Green grass (kg)
4 days to 4 weeks 25 2.5 Small qty. Small qty.
4-6 weeks 30 3.0 50-100 Small qty.
6-8 weeks 35 2.5 100-250 Small qty.
8-10 weeks 40 2.0 250-350 Small qty.
10-12 weeks 45 1.5 350-500 1-0
12-16 weeks 55 - 500-750 1-2
16-20 weeks 65 - 750-1000 2-3
20-24 weeks 75 - 1000-1500 3-5