A calf’s second feed

Farmer Keith

Member
Location
North Cumbria
Simple one really when are people giving their calves a second feed. As we’ve pushed towards modern best practise feeding 10% of bodyweight in the first 6 hours of life the second feed has turned into a right pain. 12 hours after their first feed they are often completely devoid of any kind of appetite, am I missing a trick?

Will they be ok leaving it to 24 hours? Needs to be a simple system thats easy to understand for everybody.
 
We give a drench as soon as we see the calf and and the next milking for simplicity. If it’s born at say 2 and we feed calves at 5pm I’ll leave it until 9pm on night check to not over do it too soon. The third feed it will have the chance to go on the feeder at the next milking time and if it doesn’t drink make sure it does for its 4th feed. Sometimes if they’ve had a drink off the cow then tubed twice their third feed they won’t want to take any
 
Personally I would say it’s either a breed thing or a mineral thing. Here calves are feed until they can’t drink anymore within the hr of being born normally. then will normally happily feed again within 6 hrs. If they won’t and it’s late in the day they are bagged. Though this is rare. By the next morning they are raring to go.
 

Farmer Keith

Member
Location
North Cumbria
I only tube them the first feed and would rather they would “suckle” their second as I think it’s important to take some saliva in. Anything calving at 2pm would just get their 10% LW of colostrum, I don’t intend to start feeding calves at 9pm.

I tubed 3l into an Aberdeen Angus calf at 6pm last night and it wasn’t keen on suckling the bottle at 9am today. But I wouldn’t say one breed is worse than another here. What mineral could they be deficient in?
 
I only tube them the first feed and would rather they would “suckle” their second as I think it’s important to take some saliva in. Anything calving at 2pm would just get their 10% LW of colostrum, I don’t intend to start feeding calves at 9pm.

I tubed 3l into an Aberdeen Angus calf at 6pm last night and it wasn’t keen on suckling the bottle at 9am today. But I wouldn’t say one breed is worse than another here. What mineral could they be deficient in?
Iodine
 
Location
East Mids
If you give them 10% of body weight, they will sleep for 24 hrs !! and won't be hungry
This.

If a Holstein calf at 45kg drinks 4.5 litres at a couple of hours old then they often don't want a second feed 8 hours later. We give them as much as possible first feed, (have been known to take 6l) and I don't care two hoots if they are so full they don't want anything later on.

We bottle feed with a teat where possible for first feed. However, especially if they have been born at say 2 am sometimes they have suckled before we get to them. I used to panic if they wouldn't take my bottle but with experience I have learned not to, it usually just means they are full. That said, if they've beat me to it and sucked, then they still always get offered a bottle - sometimes they will still drink another few litres even when you know they have suckled.
 
I would think that sucking from a bottle would be better than bagging every calf. :unsure:
Agreed every calf has its first feed from a bottle how else will they learn to go onto a communal 200 l drum at 24 hrs old ? But I won’t let them go through a night without a second feed if born before 5 in the afternoon.
we used 10ml of nuflor this season and no scour treatments. ( we did vaccinate)
I shan’t be changing
 
Last edited:

sidjon

Member
Location
EXMOOR
We have a massive E.coli scour problem, which we find is managed with good colostrum intakes of 15% bw( have tried 20%,but no difference to 15% and 20% bw has to be tubed) and they probably won't drink for 18hours after than, so their not hungry looking for milk and trying to suck muck of and other stuff which would increase exposure to johnes and E.coli. second feed is normally 10% bw
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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