By John Moran
Presents info on development, meals, well-being and behaviour in addition to descriptions of varied calf elevating structures and amenities.
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Additional info for Calf Rearing: A Practical Guide (Landlinks Press)
One of the earliest signs of deficiencies of these major minerals is poor growth and poor appetite. As with most mineral and vitamin deficiencies, these early signs are not very specific; the calves simply don’t appear to be doing well. This can also apply to calves suffering from parasitism or infectious diseases but, once these are eliminated, calves must be provided with the deficient nutrient before they respond. If they do not respond, then something else is wrong. Calves do not possess what is often called ‘nutritional wisdom’; they have no innate ability to select feeds to satisfy any particular nutrient craving.
This can occur with twice daily feeding of some milk replacers. This is the result of the previous curd of clotted milk not being given sufficient time to digest before the calf is offered further milk replacer. Milk bloat can also occur when milk enters the rumen rather than the abomasum and ferments with other ruminal contents. This can restrict the escape of ruminal gases. This may occur when calves have functional rumens and, in these cases, they can be weaned off milk. Where this problem occurs in immature calves, a veterinarian should examine them further.
Less than a quarter of the energy in milk fed to calves is retained by the animal and this falls to only one tenth of the solid feed when the calf is weaned! Once the animal uses energy it is all lost as body heat, while some of the other feed nutrients are recycled within the animal. Practical ration formulation is based on the principal of selecting the most appropriate ration ingredients to meet the animal’s energy needs at the lowest cost. Requirements for the other nutrients, such as protein, fibre and minerals, can then be met by adjusting the concentration of the ration ingredients so that none of these limit animal performance.