What you feed your calf in early life WILL have a significant effect on its lifetime  productivity. Calves feed conversion rates are at their greatest during the rearing period. This means they can efficiently turn a larger proportion of their feed into energy to grow and develop. Therefore, choosing the best possible powder and concentrate to feed young calves, at this time, is essential to achieve excellent rumen development and growth rates.

Remember the calf is your future dairy cow, so it is good management to give your calf the best start in life, when they can get the most out of their feed, as this will in turn result in you achieving your individual goals whether it be calving heifers at 24 months instead of 30 months, or increasing your milk yield by at least 1 litre per cow per day. These targets are achievable on any dairy farm, and we are here to help you do it.

 So, where to start?

The very beginning is as good a place as any. You all know the importance of giving good Quality colostrum to your vulnerable calves, as Quickly as possible and at the correct Quantity. The next step is to choose a good quality powder to rear the calves on. Milk powders range from whey powder through to 100% dairy protein powders.

 So, which is best?

We now know that our calves are at their most efficient during the rearing process, so it is vital to give them the best chance in life. You won’t get any better than the 100% dairy protein powders. These contain the most digestible proteins in the form of dairy proteins, in other words this powder is as close to cow’s milk as you will get. However, the down fall of cow’s milk is that it is so high in protein and fat that the calf does not need to o looking for any extra feeding. In other words, they will eat less concentrate and this is NOT a good thing! If the calf does not eat concentrate its rumen will not develop effectively, therefore you will not meet your targets as mentioned above.

 CREAMLINE is 21%CP 16% FAT, 100% dairy protein powder. Unlike whey and skimmed powders, due to these highly digestible dairy proteins the calf will get a greater percentage of protein and energy from this powder than they would from a slightly higher CP whey powder which is made up of less digestible proteins and oils. You will have seen that this powder is slightly lower in Fat, this is to make your calf feel hungry quicker resulting in them eating more concentrate, from an earlier age, developing their rumen much quicker which in turn WILL result in your calf having the potential to calve down earlier, and produce more milk. Both of these will result in a more profitable business, as these highly efficient calves WILL grow into highly efficient dairy cows that WILL reach maturity quicker and become more profitable sooner.

I have trialed this powder on our own calves here at Roadhead, and have numerous clients now using the product and who would not go back to a less digestible powder. The results speak for themselves with calves reaching weaning weight quicker, growing better after weaning as a result of excellent developed rumens.

If you don’t believe me, order a tonne and see the results for yourselves!

Kerry McCready