Time saving ideas for block calvers

Discussion in 'Dairy Farming' started by multi power, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. SJM

    SJM Member

    Surely it's the only way to know if you've any carriers? We tag and test everything including both twins and dead calves. Closed herd selling heifers so hopefully in 3 years we can guarantee the herd is bvd free, although we've never had a pi. Bvd free England is a great initiative in my opinion
     
    lazy farmer and Ducati899 like this.
  2. multi power

    multi power Member

    Location:
    pembrokeshire
    Already done all the herd about 5 years ago so pretty confident
     
    SJM likes this.
  3. pappuller

    pappuller Member

    Location:
    cheshire
    Just how it should be(y)
     
  4. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    One little time saver I found was take a picture of everyone's notebooks with my phone before brandishing taggers.. nothing worse than having a cow calve in the milking herd and a calf with wrong records :facepalm: or turning the calves out and number 38 has a set of berries under him :inpain::oops::oops::ROFLMAO:
     
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  5. In the pit

    In the pit Member

    We tag with sheep tags and then tag with proper cow tags later ..oh so easy
     
  6. Princess Pooper

    Location:
    East Mids
    If actually feeding the once a day (as opposed to mixing once a day) remember this is not permitted until they have good concentrate intakes so is not permitted at say 2 weeks (there is no fixed age)..

    Babies are designed to feed little and often. Until their rumen can start to utilise solid food then even getting a little bit of cake is not going to meet one of the minimum twice a day feeds required.
     
  7. Some friends here went once day feeding on one batch and kept twice on another...once a day at 4 weeks 4 litres in one hit calves now been weaned for a while and they reckon once a day mob looks better.....

    Be a big time saver if it works well...these are steer calves destined for hamburgers..not heifers where the kitchen sink gets thrown at them...

    Ant...
     
  8. multi power

    multi power Member

    Location:
    pembrokeshire
    I have always reared better calves feeding milk once a day
     
  9. Clay52

    Clay52 Member

    Location:
    Outer Space
    Many herds in the US are going to feeding calves 3x a day due to better growth rates.

    Young calves are the most efficient feed converters. Just look how little feed a 45kg calf requires to grow 1kg a day vs a 500kg heifer or steer to grow 1kg a day. And that doesn't take into account all the benifits of higher growth rates early in life.

    We went from feeding 1X to auto calf feeder and the claves grow much better with more constant feed. You don't hear calves bellowing anymore unless something has gone wrong.

    I figure if you are going to invest roughly 2 years of time and all that effort and money into replacements you may as well take then effort to feed them well.
     
  10. I assume late arvo feeding? So they eat during day or it dont matter?

    Ant...
     
  11. Rossymons

    Rossymons Member

    Location:
    Cornwall
    We almost treat our calves like finishing cattle when they're babies and feed them like hell. I've always felt that a kilo of growth at the beginning is almost worth 2 later on.
     
  12. Its ok if u hav an auto feeder...and only keep calves 8-12 months tops

    If workung during day cant be feeding 3 times

    Ant...
     
  13. Calves will go outside in group hutches and on grass with grain and hay or straw etc...when 4 weeks old...once a day and maybe keeping on fir linger might be more beneficial?

    Ant...
     
  14. Clay52

    Clay52 Member

    Location:
    Outer Space
    If you figure 3x is worth it for you it can be done. No one is saying you have to though.

    I don't do 3x in our individual pens but I could work it. We feed ours in individual pens twice a day for a week to 10 days before going on the auto feeder. Just allows them to be strong enough before they go to the auto feeder and compete with calves that already know what to do.

    If I didn't have an auto feeder I would group feed calves ad lib milk twice a day on teat feeders and I have done that when the auto feeder was at capacity. Calves did very well.
     
  15. Clay52

    Clay52 Member

    Location:
    Outer Space
    Exactly my thoughts. You cant catch up on lost gains later on either. Also bigger calves at weaning have greater rumen capacity to eat more feed and continue higher growth rates after weaning.
     
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  16. multi power

    multi power Member

    Location:
    pembrokeshire
    Milk morning only, I'm sure they eat more grain and roughage and I'm assuming that's where the gains come from, I'd also be feeding up to 10 litres a day
     
  17. Ed15677

    Ed15677 Member

    What do you feed calves at the start of the block when there's just heifers calving and not much colostrum ?
     
  18. Ed15677

    Ed15677 Member

    Use tractor inner tube cut in strips with a number or letter tagged on it slips over the neck like a dream
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
    Cows 'n grass and multi power like this.
  19. Rossymons

    Rossymons Member

    Location:
    Cornwall
    This is probably where i'll get shouted down but here goes...

    I just let calf get on with it.

    Unless I have reason to suspect otherwise at which point i'll intervene whether it be latch it on to the cow or bottle it. But I dont test colostrum quality, I don't make sure they all have 6 litres or 10% body weight or 3 in 3 hours or whatever. I make sure the calf is full and leave it at that.
     
    Devon lad, BELOWAVERAGE, Sid and 2 others like this.
  20. Grazer

    Grazer Member

    Location:
    SW Scotland
    I did 4 litres down a tube within a couple of hours born, but rearers complained some weren't hungry for 36 to 48 hrs after that before they could get them to sook. Dropped it to 3 now, but early days.

    After that straight onto auto feeder. Batch calved so all same age anyway.

    Tried Oad before, where they got 2 litres of double strength milk. Great results from better conc consumption. Not sure why I didn't do it again. I'll start it up again this autumn block for some batches.

    If a 20 litre bucket of water needs a pot and a half of powder to make to correct strength, the 10 calve group either got 20 litres waste milk, with a pot and a half powder in it, or 20 litres where with 3 pots in it. Worked grand.
     

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