About feed for calves

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To transfer the young to more coarse food there is a so-called starter feed for calves. It occupies an intermediate position between the exclusively dairy diet and full nutrition of cattle. But accustoming your baby to a similar diet is troublesome. After all, the mixture must be given strictly metered, plus there are mixtures for each age. Next, we will try to understand all the intricacies of this process, and practitioners will learn how to make feed with their own hands, and how much it costs.

Purpose of feed

Milk produced by a cow is the most healthy food for a calf. But only on the same mother's milk, he lives only up to 6-10 days. Further, if you want to get healthy young animals and, as a result, a profitable herd, you need to start feeding.

Teaching young to hard food, we pursue two main goals. First, calves get the entire amount of nutrients, minerals and vitamins, which contributes to rapid growth and weight gain.

Secondly, the size of the scar increases and the gastric microflora develops. Without special mixtures (compound feed), luring calves only with hay or silage, good results will not be achieved. Moreover, monotonous food at this age can cause upset gastrointestinal tract.

The calf, which was fed only with milk, at the age of six weeks, the size of the scar is 1.5 times smaller, and the condition of the nipples is 2 times worse than that of his peers, who are fed on the combined mixtures.

Types of feed

In general, the combined mixtures are crumbly or powdery, granulated and bricketed. But this is just a form of serving food, in this case the composition of the feed is more important.

The most common are full-mixtures, they are marked with the abbreviation "PC". They are dominated by grain crops such as oats, wheat and barley. For complementary feeding of young stock, they are used only after 6 months.

Concentrated feeds are indicated by the letter "K". In such mixtures, the protein component predominates, which is richly flavored with minerals and vitamins. It is in the line of these products is most of the feed for calves. You can mix them with cereals, and with silage, hay or meal.

Additives labeled "BVD" perform the same task as the concentrated feed, but their composition is different. Here, the percentage of protein, minerals and vitamin is higher, but you can only feed the calf with such additives after 3 months.

There is also such a thing as premixes, they are marked with the letter "P". Premixes are stimulating supplements from minerals, amino acids and vitamins. Figuratively speaking, premixes are dietary supplements for cows. Calves they can be given by mixing in the sunflower meal.

Prikorm young stock

Litter calf can begin as early as 4 days of life, but the starting feed immediately can not be given, the baby is not yet ready for such mixtures. At the initial stage, the so-called prestarter is used.

The most common folk predstarter is oatmeal kissel, better known as porridge "Hercules." The initial rate is 150-200 g per day, but up to 6 weeks you need to bring the consumption up to 2.5 kg.

There are also factory prestarters. Of course, they are at times more useful, but the price is appropriate. If "Hercules", as a rule, is prepared on the water, then the majority of factory pre-start mixtures are made on molasses.

There is an important point here, whatever mixture you use, all of them up to 2 months should be given in liquid or mushy form. In no case should the calves be given dry, especially powdered and granulated feed. Dust from it can enter the respiratory system.

Up to 3 months, the diet of feeding calfs and bulls is no different. Only after 12 weeks are the first people given feeds that stimulate the dairy component, while the second one chooses mixtures either for weight gain or for enhancing reproductive function.

What compositions are better?

The Ministry of Agriculture recommends using a mixture of "KR-1" as a starter. The mixture is very good, it contains 24 ingredients. It is prepared according to all the rules on high-class equipment and contains everything a baby needs, the only problem is price. On average, for a bag of 30-40 kg ask from 800 to 1600 rubles.

Therefore, many farms use homemade options. These include: crushed or ground oats 40%, barley 30%, ground wheat with peas 10%, oilcake or sunflower meal 10-20%, fodder dry shakes about 1%, salt 0.5%, chalk 1%. And for vitamin balance add 1% of the premix "RCC-1".

But when a person has only a few calves in the barn, recipes used in large farms, with their precise dosage and relatively large assortment, are unprofitable. The people came up with a different composition of feed:

  • crushed corn - 35%;
  • feed mixture of oats, wheat and barley (ground) - 36%;
  • soybean meal (quality) - 25%;
  • chalk, salt, yeast, mineral additives, etc. - 4%.

From the words of experienced breeders, the national mixture of the calf can receive already from the first week of life, the standard volume is 100-200 g per day. As soon as the baby reaches the consumption of 1-1.5 kg, the milk can be removed completely.

The practical side of the issue

Both starter feed and prestarter for calves are quite realistic to cook at home with their own hands. But for this you need at least a crusher. For a private enterprise, a device with a bunker volume of 20 kg and a power plant capacity of 1-1.2 kW is sufficient. It will cost 15-19 thousand rubles.

But for the production of really high-quality feed you will have to fork out for several more units. In addition to the crusher, you will need a maslopress, - a meal is made on it (22-25 thousand rubles.). Granulator for feed costs about 25 thousand, a professional dryer will cost 30-35, a unit for grinding hay - from 30 thousand rubles. The cheapest in this mini-line is a motokosa, it costs about 3 thousand rubles. Total at a minimum - about 130 thousand rubles. For one owner, the amount can be too big, so it’s easier to fold up and buy it all in 2-3 mini farms.

The success of any farm directly depends on a competent method of production of mixed feed in general and calf feed, in particular.

If the information was useful for you, share it with your friends, perhaps one of them just solves the problem of feed.

Leave a comment at the end of the article.

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