Always measure or calibrate new calf-feeding equipment, says Sam Leadley, calf-care expert at Attica (N.Y.) Veterinary Associates.

On one farm that Leadley visited, he watched as the calf feeder mixed milk replacer in a 6-gallon pail. It looked as if the feeder was not adding enough milk replacer to make 6 gallons. Upon investigation, Leadley found out that the pail was a replacement. The previous pail, which held 5 gallons, had been run over by a truck. “The same amount of powder was being used to make 6 gallons rather than 5,” Leadley says. The end result was that the calves were getting only 80 percent of their regular ration.

Estimating can get you in trouble. “Always take time to use something with a known volume or a scale to check out the new piece of equipment,” Leadley says.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See the September 2005 issue of “Calving Ease” at: www.atticacows.com