Calf nutrition and heat stress

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Heat-stressed calves require more energy to regulate their body temperature and maintain growth. A 22% calf starter, along with a 28% protein, 20% fat milk replacer is recommended to deliver adequate amounts of protein and energy calves need, says Susan Day, young animal technical manager with Land O’Lakes Purina Feed.

However you choose to feed your calves, Day says to keep the following in mind:

  • Calves will eat more grain during cooler times of the day, so provide ample feed after the evening milk feeding.
  • Calf starter can spoil easily in hot weather. Dump out old calf starter daily and replace it with fresh starter.
  • Calves will drink between 1 to 2 gallons of liquids per day, in addition to the water used to mix their milk replacer. Provide cool, clean, free-choice water at all times and monitor water temperature throughout the day.


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