How consistent is your calf-feeding program?

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"Consistent nutrient content delivered at the desired temperature and appropriate time leads to better performance in pre-weaned calves," says Bob James, extension dairy scientist at Virginia Tech.

In the latest issue of the Virginia Tech Dairy Pipeline, James discusses sources of variation in both "waste" milk and milk replacer fed to calves.

Adding too much or too little milk replacer powder and not being careful about the amount of water used to mix the powder are two sources of variation. Mixing containers also can lead to nutrient variation in milk replacer feeding programs.

"Consistency can be improved by following some simple protocols,” James says.

For example, use scales to weigh the water and powder and measure temperature of liquids using a battery-operated thermometer.


Source: Virginia Tech Dairy Pipeline, April 2012

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