« Agriculture

Calves need extra help when the temps drop

by Randy Shannon

CHILLY OR FLAT COLD, a baby calf needs additional nutrients to meet body maintenance requirements. And even more nutrients are needed if the calf is to gain weight once temperatures have dropped below 60° F. With winter approaching, Dianne Shoemaker, Ohio State University Extension dairy specialist reminds dairy producers that, while traditional milk replacer feeding recommendations of one pound of DM per day-usually fed as two bottles with 8 ounces of powder each-will allow a calf to gain a half pound/day in warm weather.  Calves need 50 percent more milk replacer DM to meet maintenance requirements (neither gaining nor losing weight) when the temps turn to 32° F, she adds that additional milk replacer must be fed beyond that if we expect calves to grow.

For a taste of the expert knowledge on tap at Calf Care Connection, click here . Dr. Noah Litherland explains the science behind cold weather nutrition.

Reprinted with permission from the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin .