Cold weather feeding tips for calves

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With the onset of cold weather in many parts of the country, adjustments should be made in the way calves are fed in order to give them more energy.

J.W. Schroeder, extension dairy specialist at North Dakota State University, offers the following suggestions:

  • Use high-fat milk replacers. Use milk replacers with 20 percent fat to provide calves with extra energy.
  • Increase feed intake. Increase dry matter intake by 10 percent for every 10 degrees that the daytime high is below 32 degrees F. When daytime highs are below 7 degrees F, feed the excess in a third feeding to help prevent digestive upsets.
  • Keep the calves clean, dry and draft-free.
  • Offer plenty of warm water — at least once per day during the winter months.
  • Encourage consumption of starter feed.


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