Colostrum. The Co-op Calf Program

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2 The Co-op Calf Program Tennessee Farmers Cooperative and its member Co-ops have been working with farmers in raising better calves for more than 65 years. Nutrition recommendations, backed by Cooperative Research Farms (CRF) and university trials, have proven time and time again to be effective in helping farmers to realize the genetic potential of their animals. A calf-raising program has many variables that should be considered including breed, genetics, forages, facilities and goals of the operator. Co-op has a well-trained field staff that can make recommendations for your operation to meet your needs. Contact your local Co-op manager to discuss these possibilities. Colostrum At birth, it is critical that calves receive colostrum within the first 12 hours. Colostrum is very rich in proteins, vitamin A, and sodium chloride and contains lower amounts of carbohydrates, lipids, and potassium than normal milk. The most pertinent bioactive components in colostrum are growth factors and antimicrobial factors. The antibodies in colostrum provide passive immunity while growth factors stimulate the development of the rumen. Antibodies are passed to the calf and provide the first protection against pathogens. Colostrum produced on one s own farm is considered to be superior to colostrum from other sources, because it is produced by animals already exposed to (and thus making antibodies to) pathogens occurring on the farm. Considerations for colostrum include: Calves need three (3) quarts within first hour of birth again 12 hours later (6 quarts total within 12 hours of birth) Age of cow first-calf heifers typically have lower-quality colostrum Monitor dam s first milk volume cows that produce 20 pounds or more at first milking typically have lower-quality colostrum Monitor leaky cows prior to first milking considerable colostrum is lost Dry Cow Nutrition An effective calf program begins before the calf is born. Dry cow nutrition can affect colostrum quality in the following ways: Low-protein dry cow diets produce low immunoglobulin colostrum Inadequate selenium results in early births, weak calves, increases in white muscle disease, and general un-thriftiness Low vitamin E diets result in decreased calf immunity 1 2

3 Milk Replacer After calves have consumed colostrum, typically producers utilize milk replacer for the next 28 to 42 days as the calf s digestive system is developing. Approximately 50 pounds of milk replacer saves 400 pounds of sellable milk, which can increase profit potential on a dairy operation. For milk replacer feeding to be a viable program, nutritional quality is of utmost importance. Quality of protein and energy plays a large role in maximizing genetic growth potential of the calf. Diligent consideration should be given to weight gain and weaning goals before purchasing any milk replacer. Milk replacer nutrient levels vary considerably since certain products are formulated to target different levels of performance and intakes. Co-op has a variety of milk replacers in medicated and non-medicated forms. Work with your local Co-op representative to develop a milk replacer program that meets your needs. minimum of 18 percent crude protein. Do not offer any hay. Always offer clean, fresh water. Continue feeding milk replacer until calf is consistently consuming a minimum of 2 pounds of calf starter daily (generally occurs around 3-5 weeks). Continue to offer calf starter on a free-choice basis until 300 pounds bodyweight. Many producers utilize Accelerated Calf Development Programs. For this program, in week one, offer 2 quarts liquid milk replacer twice daily. In week two until one week prior to weaning, offer 3 quarts of liquid milk replacer twice daily and in the last week on milk replacer, offer 3 quarts liquid milk replacer once daily. Provide calf starter on approximately day five with a minimum of 18 percent crude protein. Continue feeding calf starter up to 12 weeks of age. Do not feed any hay, and always offer clean, fresh water. For small breeds, offer quarts liquid milk replacer twice daily. This should provide a minimum pounds of powder daily. On approximately day five, provide calf starter with a minimum of 18 percent crude protein. Do not offer any hay. Offer clean, fresh water at all times. Continue feeding milk replacer until calf is consistently consuming a minimum of 1.25 pounds of calf starter daily (generally occurs around 3-5 weeks). Offer calf starter until 250 pounds bodyweight. Phase 1 Birth pounds bodyweight Provide three quarts of colostrum within first hour of birth again 12 hours later. For large breeds, offer 2-3 quarts liquid milk replacer twice daily. This should provide a minimum of 1.7 pounds of powder daily. On approximately day five, provide calf starter with a 3 4

4 Co-op Calf Primer I/TCR A Total Calf Ration. Complete, nutritionally balanced, pelleted ration designed specifically for the newborn calf. This product provides the highest-quality proteins formulated to precise levels of amino acids to ensure proper growth. It is formulated with multiple, highly digestible fiber sources to provide appropriate substrate to aid the development of the calf s digestive system. Calf Primer I is fully fortified with vitamins and minerals (including trace minerals and vitamin E) for adequate bone and structure development. Co-op Victory Lane Calf Starter Provides high-quality protein balanced specifically for the newborn calf in textured form. It provides specific quantities of carbohydrate to ensure energy supplementation, maximizes growth potential, and has added digestible fiber to aid in proper growth of the digestive system. It is completely fortified with vitamins and minerals to ensure adequate bone formation and contains yeast culture to maximize digestion. Co-op Calf Concentrate Specially designed for young growing calves to be mixed with on-the-farm grains. It provides highquality protein, ample trace minerals and vitamins for excellent growth rates of young calves. It is formulated with B-complex vitamins to maintain good feed consumption and growth rates, thus preventing post-weaning lag. Co-op Victory Lane Heifer Booster Nutritionally balanced to be fed with on-the-farm grain and forages as calves grow and develop. It provides high-quality protein balanced specifically for the newborn calf. It is an excellent choice for top-dress applications to increase protein of growing calf rations. It is completely fortified with vitamins and minerals to ensure adequate bone formation and contains yeast culture to maximize digestion. 5 6

5 Calf Starter/Grower Provides palatable ingredients and essential nutrients needed by young calves consuming their first dry feed while on milk. It provides highquality protein, ample trace minerals and vitamins for excellent growth rates. It has been formulated with B-complex vitamins to maintain growth rates and prevent post weaning lag. Co-op Calf Primer II/TCR A Total Calf Ration. Complete nutritionally balanced, pelleted feed designed specifically for weaned, growing calves between pounds bodyweight. Provides the proper balance of protein, energy and carbohydrates for structural growth and development. Designed to be offered as the sole ration or can be fed along with good-quality hay or pasture. It is completely fortified with vitamins and minerals (including trace minerals and vitamin E). Phase pounds bodyweight Nutrition must not suffer during this phase. Offer palatable grower ration minimum 14 percent crude protein. High-quality forages (alfalfa hay or other legume/grass hays) can be offered. Forage is not necessary as long as grower ration contains minimum 20 percent fiber. Co-op Calf Primer Feeds have been shown to be the most effective grower ration from pounds bodyweight. 7 8

6 The Co-op Calf Primer/TCR Program Co-op Calf Primer I and II are premier products produced by Tennessee Farmers Cooperative and researched by Cooperative Research Farms. The following is a summary of the benefits for offering calves these feeds: Phase pounds bodyweight - Calving The objective of the feeding program is to have breeding age heifers pounds bodyweight (smaller breeds pounds body weight). Thus, the target average daily gain should be pounds daily ( average daily gain for smaller breeds). To accomplish this: Offer 4-7 pounds daily of palatable grower ration minimum 14 percent crude protein Monitor body condition closely Use weight tape, if necessary, to monitor bodyweights. Routinely sample forages and balance grower rations accordingly Feature Proper protein level, including amino acids Multiple protein sources Multiple fiber sources Balanced macro mineral content High levels of trace mineral Consistent feed intake No roughage required High calf acceptability Reduction in heifer rearing costs Benefit Allows for most efficient protein:energy metabolism potentially reduces nitrogen excretion. Proper balance of protein allows for maximum lean gain and structural growth and maximum development for future milk production. Aids in development of the young calf s digestive system for healthier calves and maximum absorption of nutrients. Aids in maximum growth and structural height. Ensures maximum growth efficiency. Ensures maximum nutrients for growth. Saves labor and forage. Aids in early, consistent feed intake. Aids in optimal weaning ages lower cost per pound of gain. 9 10

7 Co-op Calf Primer/TCR Feeding Table Consistent Feed Intake By providing the ideal balance of protein, energy, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, maximum growth is successfully achieved. Because of consistent feed intake, calves can reach maximum genetic expression for growth. Feed Intake (as fed) of Calf Primer 1 Estimated Bodyweight age 2 One Calf One Calf Type of diet (pounds) (wks.) (pounds/wk.) (cumulative intake) Calf Primer I Calf Primer II , , , , ,600 All values are rounded for ease of calculation. 1 Weekly feed intake per calf based upon 89% dry matter feed 2 Based upon Holstein calves

8 The Co-op Calf Feed Lineup Product Name Item # Co-op Calf Primer I/TCR w/deccox Co-op Calf Primer I/TCR w/bovatec Co-op Calf Primer I/TCR w/rumensin Co-op Calf Primer I/TCR w/a+b Co-op Calf Primer II/TCR w/bovatec Co-op Calf Primer II/TCR w/rumensin Co-op Victory Lane Calf Starter w/ctc & Deccox Co-op Victory Lane Calf Starter w/deccox Co-op Victory Lane Heifer Booster w/bovatec Co-op Calf Concentrate w/bovatec 314 Co-op Calf Starter/Grower w/deccox 308 Heifer Growth Chart Water The Critical Element Proper consumption of water is critical to heifer development. Based upon bodyweight and outside temperature, calves should consume the following amounts: Estimated total water intake of heifers. Gallons per day Bodyweight (pounds) 40º F 80º F , , (Linn, 08) Bodyweight (pounds) Daily gain (pounds/day) (Heinrichs, 98) 13 14

9 CO-OP CALF FEED General Feeding Suggestions Always choose feeds that are designed and intended for the appropriate purpose and stage of production. Study and follow label directions carefully. Problems may result from improper use. Test forages when applicable to determine nutritional content, and use this information in selecting feeds and supplements. Work with Co-op personnel to keep abreast of changes in products, feeding rates, new additives, and available options. Continually monitor your calves for any signs or symptoms of nutritional imbalances or deficiencies. Offer Co-op feeds on a consistent basis to help encourage even consumption and avoid digestive upset. If self-feeding, monitor consumption. Calves must consume medicated feeds at the specified level for them to perform properly. If feeds are offered free-choice, expect variation but try to keep consumption in the acceptable range. Always provide calves with comforts such as fresh water, shade, and loafing areas. Consult your veterinarian for help with disease prevention and parasite control as part of your overall herd health and management plan. Make any changes to feeding programs gradually. CO-OP Co-op proudly 18 U.S.C. supports 707 Unconditional Guarantee Tennessee Farmers Co-op goes to great lengths to formulate and manufacture the highest-quality products possible to satisfy the needs of your livestock. With more than 60 years of feed experience, we confidently back our products with an unconditional guarantee. We will replace any Co-op manufactured feed that you are not satisfied with at any time, for any reason. Tennessee Farmers Cooperative utilizes research from Cooperative Research Farms (CRF) in the formulation of feeds it manufactures. CRF is an innovative, international cooperative that has maintained an active feed research program, with the goal of improving animal agriculture, for more than 50 years. For more information on CRF, visit These feeds were produced in a facility certified in the American Feed industry Association s Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program. For details go to: Manufactured by Tennessee Farmers Cooperative LaVergne, TN 37086

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