Feeding plays an important role in the health and development of calves. Choosing the right feed for your calves is essential for optimizing their growth, performance, and overall health. As a farmer, it is important to be familiar with the various types calf feed available and to understand how each one contributes to a comprehensive feeding program. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of calf feed available on the market and why they are important for your herd.
The first phase in a successful calf feeding program is starter feed. This type of feed is designed to provide young cattle with all the nutrients they need during their early development stages. Two popular brands are ForFarmers Vita Start and NWF Startrite. Starter feeds typically contain high levels of protein, fat, fibre, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that help support healthy growth in calves up to 8 weeks old.
Once your calves reach 8 weeks old, you can switch them to rearing pellets like ForFarmers Super Rearer or NWF Super Rearer. Rearing pellets are designed for older calves who need more energy-rich feeds for sustained weight gain and muscle development. These feeds generally contain higher levels of energy than starter feeds as well as added proteins and vitamins that help contribute to healthy body condition scores (BCS).
In addition to starter and rearing pellet feeds, mineral supplements are also an important part of any calf-feeding program. Mineral supplements provide essential trace minerals that may be lacking in a calf’s diet due to low forage quality or lack of access to pasture land. Adding mineral supplements helps ensure that your calves get all the micronutrients they need for optimal health throughout their life cycle.
Boluses and blocks are an efficient way to supplement your calf's diet with additional vitamins and minerals - specifically those associated with trace element deficiencies such as copper or selenium deficiency. Optilix balancer blocks deliver important vitamins such as B12 which help support proper digestive health in young calves. Additionally, Crystalyx Cattle Booster boluses provide a concentrated dose of macro minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium chloride and trace elements such as zinc and copper which can improve fertility rates in pregnant cows or heifers being readied for breeding programs.
When it comes to providing optimal nutrition for your calves, selecting the right feed is key! Also remember that mineral supplements play an important role in keeping your calves healthy so don't forget about boluses & blocks too! At Meirion Davies, we stock only the best quality products, specifically chosen to provide your livestock with the highest quality ingredients, whilst also ensuring the best value for you money. Call up or call in store today to make your purchases.