Hey kids! Your calf is lucky to have someone like you looking after it. I bet you want to do the best job possible, right? As a calf myself, I know how to help your calf grow big and strong, and live a healthy, happy life. Just follow my advice:
- Your baby calf needs to drink at least 2 litres of milk from its mother in the first 18 hours after it’s born. This first milk is called ‘colostrum’ and will help build your calf’s immune system so it can fight off any nasty bugs.
- Calves are happy when you follow the four ‘Golden Rules’:
- Keep us somewhere warm, dry and clean
- Control how much milk we drink (an adult can help you decide how much)
- Make sure there’s enough room in the trough for us to feed
- Don’t give us pasture or straw/hay for the first 8 weeks
- Try ‘lollipopping’ to help your calf begin eating FiberStart. This doesn’t involve any actual lollipops sorry! Cut the plastic away from the top 5cm-7cm of a bag of FiberStart and stand it upright inside a car tyre so your calf can nibble it. Remove more plastic as they start to eat more. This helps keep the food fresh and tasty. Don’t worry if they don’t eat much to start with.
- Veterinary care is important. Talk to your adult about organising vaccinations and horn disbudding while your calf is young.
- Make sure your calf has clean, safe water to drink.
- Check and clean all the milk feeders before you feed your calf.
- Calves like me like plenty of room to mooove! Make sure we have at least 1.5m² each in our pen.
One of the best things you can do is feed us FiberStart. It helps our stomachs develop so we can eat pasture and grow as big and strong as possible later on!
- Day 1 – Week 3: Begin using FiberStart using the ‘lollipop’ method I described above. (Sorry, still no actual lollipops…Calves don’t like sugar!).
- Week 3 – Week 7: Mix FiberStart and our meal 50/50 (half and half) in our trough.
- Week 7 onwards: Your calf might be ready to start eating grass now but keep mixing FiberStart and our meal in the trough.