Calf rearing is still an underestimated aspect at many farms. Calf deaths are proof of this, as there is a relatively high loss percentage which puts social pressure on the sector. The bio calfStart programme helps reduce losses and ensures a healthy start to the calf’s life.
Insufficient provision of colostrum is an important cause of calf deaths. The standard should be 6 litres of controlled colostrum on day one, 3 litres of which are given an hour after calving. It comes as no surprise that colostrum is referred to as liquid gold, and is found at every dairy farm.
A calf can be metabolically programmed to produce more milk later on in life. Bio enterprise is convinced that there is a strong relationship between metabolic programming and sustainability of animals.
Desk studies show 1 gram of extra growth per day during the milk period of a calf to result in an extra 4 litres of milk during the first lactation. 200 g of extra growth per day can produce up to 800 extra litres of milk. When translated in terms of the complete herd, this can considerably boost annual income. It is essential that any risk factors are timely detected. If a calf suffers from diarrhoea for example, it cannot grow effectively and consequently this leads to less yield per animal.