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Topic-icon Calf feed

  • denbrulewtom@hotmail.com
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2 months 4 days ago #542710 by denbrulewtom@hotmail.com

Hi everyone.
New at rearing calves, we have two 4 week olds (for beef). I've got a question:- I've got Fibrestart as a meal for them and I was advised to feed a handful to them when they suck on my fingers. This is great and I get some in them every time. But - they don't appear to be eating it of their own accord. I have some in a bin for them ad-lib. They have a pasture and are nibbling on the grass and drinking the water. Should I be worried if they are not interested in eating the Fibrestart on their own? If so, should I try them on another meal? Look forward to hearing advice & your experiences.

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2 months 4 days ago #542713 by Cigar

A quick Google suggests you should be feeding Fibre start with meal, not instead of meal, so I would mix some calf meal in with it. It may take a while for them to get into it, so only offer smallish amounts, increasing the amount if they are eating most of it each day, or throw it out and replace with fresh stuff every few days if they aren't eating much.

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2 months 4 days ago #542714 by denbrulewtom@hotmail.com

Thank you for your advice Cigar. I'll be popping down to Farmlands tomorrow.

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2 months 4 days ago #542716 by Povnation

We find that at 4 weeks old our calves don’t have too much interest in meal or grass/hay/silage. Definitely have it there for them ad lib but you’ll find as they get to 6 weeks ish the meal bowl willstart to be empty each morning which is a good thing to see. I would recommend the Moozley from farmlands, I think it’s a NRM feed, calves seem to enjoy it!

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2 months 2 days ago #542738 by Stormer

You can't go past FiberGain as a rearing product. No point feeding predominantly grain products to a ruminant animal if you want it to do well in the long-term. We will never go back after using this product, you can see the difference straight away....on the paddock!

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2 months 1 day ago #542756 by denbrulewtom@hotmail.com

This sounds silly - but on my receipt I've got FibreStart. It was only when I went to Farmlands that they told me impeccably that I had bought FibreGain. I dug the packaging out and indeed I have been giving them FibreGain. Duh!
Like your calves "Povnation" they aren't showing any interest in it apart from off the hand (unenthusiastically) when suckling. At the moment I leave a little out and am sure I'm feeding the local bird life......will be lovely to see an empty bucket eventually. Nice to have an endorsement "Stormer" Thanks everyone.

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1 month 1 week ago #543286 by denbrulewtom@hotmail.com

Me again - the calfs are now a few weeks older (8 weeks) I have gradually educed their Milk Replacer from 3 litres x 2 a day to 2 litres x 2 day nearly 2 weeks ago. They are still not showing any sign of eating the fibregain that's been available to them since they arrived at 6 & 8 days old. Apart from off the fingers when they suckle - only one will eat a couple of mouthfuls and the other spits it out and leaves:) They have an acre of paddock with plenty of grass in it - adlib. They are gaining weight, run and look happy so I'm not too worried at this stage. My only question is the health & development of the rumen. Has anyone else had experience with calves growing on Milk Replacer & Paddock grass only? Are there any adverse signs I should be looking for?

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1 month 1 week ago #543287 by Ronney

Your calves will be absolutely fine and their rumen will develop without any trouble at all. It sounds as though they are on excellent tucker and doing well.

Not all calves like grain-type feeds. I've had quite a few over the years that wouldn't eat it and they were certainly no worse off for it. Carry on with what your doing and enjoy them :)

Cheers,
Ronnie

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1 month 1 week ago #543288 by Stikkibeek

Go and observe them when they are lying down and see if they are chewing their cuds. (they should be by 8 weeks) That is a very good indicator that their rumens are developing. Two of mine born 10/10 are already chewing their cuds. If they don't like the fibre they might appreciate a small amount of good quality hay each day and as Ronney says, "Enjoy them"


Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
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1 month 1 week ago #543289 by VioletFarmer

Ive reared hundreds of calves- dairy replacements & beef X, not had any that don't like the moozli type feeds- have not tried the fibre gain ones. Your calves will grow just fine on milk & good quality pasture- I do like to have a bit of red clover/ lucerne hay for them as with lush spring growth I find it helps bind them up a bit having some roughage :)

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1 month 1 week ago #543290 by Jaybee

If they were mine I'd have them on once a day milk feeding by now - that really increases their desire to eat the meal.. They'll grow a lot better if they do start eating it - a kg of good quality meal is equivalent to 4 litres of milk.

My 6-8 week calves are getting 3 litres of milk once a day and eating 1.5kg of pellets, plus fresh spring pasture.

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1 month 1 week ago #543325 by Blueberry

We've had Highlanders for nearly two decades now, and even the few we had to hand read never liked Mozlee or the organic multi-nut. They all went from milk straight to grass and hay.


[;)] Blueberry
treading lightly on mother earth
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1 month 1 week ago #543342 by Povnation

Ronney wrote: Your calves will be absolutely fine and their rumen will develop without any trouble at all. It sounds as though they are on excellent tucker and doing well.

Not all calves like grain-type feeds. I've had quite a few over the years that wouldn't eat it and they were certainly no worse off for it. Carry on with what your doing and enjoy them :)

Cheers,
Ronnie


This.

But also agree with reduce to once a day feeding and they’ll eat more fiber/grass etc if you felt like it pick up a bag of mooslie next time your in farmlands and they should get stuck into that, especially if they’re one OAD.
We do once a day feeding from about 10 days old so yourd will definitely be fine. In fact if they were mine I’d probably have weaned them by now but that just me.

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1 month 4 days ago #543379 by max2

Seales Winslow calf Muesli is awesome, as others have said above, I have never had a calf refuse a muesli type product. They get stuck into it by week 1. I tried the fibre products 2 seasons ago, not as keen on that as the SW range.

I only feed 2 litres x 2 day plus the meal plus silage, adlib grass and fresh water.. Drenching by week 6. Feed the muesli after evening milk and when the sparrows are finished for the day. Pointless feeding of a morning as the sparrows get in there and frighten young calves away as well as popping on everything.

I find it easier to keep one older established calf in with the young ones or in a pen next to the new entries. Calves love to copy and if they see an older one doing something, off they go. However too many older ones in a pen and the young ones are push out.

sounds like yours are doing fine though.

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