Third to sixth month
Feeding to maintain good growth
During this period, easy access to good quality feed goes hand-in-hand with high growth rates. Always remember that lost growth in this period can result in later calving and lower milk yields in the future.
The ration fed to replacement heifers up to six months of age should be energy and protein rich. Underfeeding should be avoided as it will result in stunted growth and delayed breeding.
Good pointers to remember are:
- Monitor body weight, withers height and average daily gains
- Feed for growth rates above 750g/1.65lb (500g/1.1lb) per day
- Provide a well-balanced post-weaning ration, with a good proportion of protein and energy
- Analyse protein and energy of the forage given
- Feed minerals if needed
- Use a respiratory score card to identify and treat sick calves promptly
- Regrouping or moving earlier than 2 weeks after weaning
- Large groups
- Several regroupings
- Low protein content in feed
- Low energy content in feed
- Grazing without supplementary feeding
You can find out much more about the calf’s third to sixth month in the Calf Management booklet.