Resources

Calf Rearing

Be confident this calving season with all you need to know about raising healthy calves.

These resources will leave you with not only knowledge but tools that you can action.

On-farm talk series

Be confident this calving season with our 2021 on-farm talk series, presented by Natalie Hughes (SealesWinslow) and Emma Cuttance (VetEnt).

To access each video click the link in each section below. You will then be directed to input your name and email address.

Natalie chats about how to set up a shed for optimal calf health, including ventilation, bedding, and shelter.

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Emma chats about what colostrum is, the best way to feed it, and how to check the quality.

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Natalie chats about what you need to know about feed and meal.

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Natalie chats about what to look for when looking at calf meal.

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Webinar Series

Prepare for a busy calving season with our 2020 Successful Calf Rearing webinar series, presented by Natalie Hughes (SealesWinslow) and Mike Shallcrass (Fonterra).

To access each webinar click the link in each section below. You will then be directed to input your name and email address.

Natalie Hughes walks us through how to set up a shed for optimal calf health, including ventilation, bedding, and shelter.

Watch the webinar

An informative webinar with Natalie Hughes on changes in milk over time, timing of feeding quality colostrum, and the impact on passive transfer.

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Mike Shallcrass, Senior Veterinary Manager with Fonterra, discusses the importance of colostrum management, neonatal nutrition and disease prevention for a successful calf rearing season.

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Natalie Hughes talks through calf energy and protein requirements, and how to transition from milk to meal and meal to grass.

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Learn more about the calculation of food to achieve liveweight targets, key target times and measuring options with Natalie Hughes.

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Abomasal bloat in calves: what causes it and how to reduce the risk

Bloat is an over-expansion of the abomasum soon after milk feeding. It is due to gas (produced by the normal fermentation of feed) building up and being unable to escape.

Abomasal bloat is typically seen in calves five to 10 days old. The exact cause of abomasal bloat in calves is unknown, but certain things must happen to produce the condition:

  • An excess of fermentable carbohydrate in the abomasum (from milk, milk replacer or electrolyte solution)
  • A fermentative enzyme (produced by bacteria, many of which are present in the calf stomach all the time)
  • Something that has slowed the rate of abomasal emptying. The pre-weaned calf must have milk to grow and develop, but anything that slows down the rate at which milk empties from the abomasum will give the bacteria present more time to ferment this essential feed.

It’s hard to identify the specific reason for abomasal bloat but understanding the main risk factors for the condition, correctly and consistently mixing a proven milk replacer and always following best rearing practice will help.

Electrolyte Replacer Recipes

2 tblspns glucose
1 dstspn baking soda
1 heaped tspn common salt
2 ltrs water

Add molasses or caramel flavour to make it more palatable. Make up a 2 ltr bottle of concentrate and dilute as required.

2 1/2 t glucose (or sugar)
1 1/4 t citric acid
3/4 t potassium chloride (from the vet)
1t salt
1/2 t baking soda
2.5L warm water

All can be purchased from from Bin Inn or the supermarket, except potassium chloride.

1tsp salt
1tsp baking soda
2 tbls manuka honey
2 tbls dextrose to one litre warm water

10g salt
10g sodium bicarb
100g dextrose (you can buy big bags of dextrose from Binn Inn)

1tsp salt
4tbs glucose
1tbs baking soda

Add to 2.5ltrs of warm water. Mix thoroughly.

1kg salt 300g potassium chloride
1kg baking soda
10kg glucose
Calf drencher

Combine ingredients.

Solution is sufficient for 100 doses. Dose = Add 1/2 cup/123gms of electrolyte to 2L of water.

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