Young cattle – calf

Calves usually suckle for the first time within hours of birth. Calves gain access to the udder from in front of the hind leg of the dam.

The first milk after birth, colostrum, contains immunoglobulins that play an important role in the development of the calf’s immune system. During the first week or more of life the calf will be left on its own way from the herd, which is termed hiding behavior.

Calves should never be accommodated with adults in the cowshed. The calf house must have provision for daylight ventilation and proper drainage.

Young calves should only have fresh pellets available. They should be offered a new batch of pellets each day while those left from the previous day can be fed to older weaned calves.

Good management dictates that producers find each calf to ensure that it is in good health and receiving adequate nutrition.

Another area of concern for calves is unthriftiness, weak calf syndrome and calves that do no suck, a condition known as dummy calf syndrome.

For an efficient management and housing, the young stock should be divided into three groups, viz., young calves (age up to one year), bull calves (the male calves over one year) and the female calves (above one year).
Young cattle – calf

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