Calf Summer checklist

Calf Summer checklist
1. Are weights on target?
  • Wean at minimum 85kg for Jersey, 90kg for crossbreeds and 95kg for Friesian and eating at least 1kg of meal.
  • Anexa technicians can weigh your calves for you. Included in the service is set up of equipment, animal identification and data entry into Minda LIVE.
  • Heavier calves produce more milk in their first lactation and are more likely to last to the end of their first season in the herd.
  • They should be gaining a minimum of 0.6 kg per day, ideally 0.8-1kg per day so if calves are not achieving this you may need to investigate why not.
  • Regular weighing can identify those calves struggling to cope even they look like they’re keeping up. Early intervention methods can include separating these calves, preferential feeding or adding supplement.

2. Is your drench adequate?
  • Don’t forget Anexa does calf drench packs with great discount and giveaways included (free ham for Christmas!).
  • If calves aren’t thriving you can check your drench by collecting faecal samples 10 days after the drench to see if there is evidence of worm burden post drench.
  • Calibrate your guns, check the pack (is the product in the pack actually the same one on the label), check the dose and administration method and drench to heaviest calf weight.

3. Are calves getting enough energy to grow?
  • They need a minimum of 3-4kgDM per day down the throat at this time of year.
  • Don’t feed calves poor quality grass. Calves need high levels of protein to grow i.e. good quality grass.

4. Optimising weaning?
If you still have a few late weaners:
  • Any late born calves not weaned yet, need to be weaned off milk and meal at heavier weights that the earlier calves - you are trying to catch them up to the older calves.
  • Don’t stop all things at once, for example milk and meal and then transport them. This is too much stress and a perfect storm for weaning or post transport diseases.
  • Keep meal in the system till they are at least 120kg plus.
  • Try not to vaccinate and drench on the same day as travel where practical.
  • Be aware that coccidiosis occurs around weaning time so if calves are looking poorly or scouring or straining, submit a faecal sample to check for coccidia. Coccidios is easily treatable, can occur when calves are still on meal.

5. Post weaning
  • Have you made a youngstock plan for you and your grazier including drench protocol, weighing, facial eczema prevention and mineral supplementation?

6. Have you planned Facial Eczema prevention?
  • Keep an eye on facial eczema updates through the Anexa facial spore count service on Facebook or sign up to receive our text updates.
  • Zinc bolusing is the most reliable and effective method of delivering zinc for facial eczema prevention.
  • You can deliver grass samples to your local Anexa clinic if you would like to know the spore counts specific to your property.

Date Added: Friday, 4th December 2020