Weaning farm animals

Weaning Farm Animals: All you need to know

Weaning can be defined as the time farm animals (piglets, kids, lambs, calves, kits, etc) are taken off milk or fluid feed and the gradual introduction to semi-solid and solid feeds.

I’ll be majoring of weaning of a calf.

  • Before a calf is weaned, it’s condition as well as the amount of dry feed it’s able to consume should be considered.
  • Calf that has experienced any health problems or feeding problems and are not growing well should not be weaned along side those that have no problems
  • In temperate regions, calves can be weaned at the age of 4-6weeks. But in the tropics, they are weaned at about 3 or 4 or 6 months of age depending on the management practice.
  • They should be weaned when they are able to consume 2.5-4kg of concentrate.
  • A deliberate reduction in the amount of liquid diets offered to the calf is a strong stimulus for the calf to consume more concentrate (calf starter).
  • Weaning of calves should be done according to the early or late weaning method.

                 Early weaning method

  • Colostrum is fed for the first 4days and from the 4th day, reconstituted or while milk is fed.
  • The milk is offered according to the body weight of the calf. And about 10% of the body weight should be fed.
  • At 7 days of age, early weaning concentrate, hay and water are introduced to the calf/calves.
  • Weaning from milk or milk substitute takes place at 3-5weeks of age.
  • Hay and early weaning concentrate are fed to appetite up to 14weeks when the calves are to be taking about 3kg of concentrate per day.
  • From 14-24weeks, early weaning concentrates are gradually replaced with the rearing concentrates.
  • Hay, silage and roots are fed to appetite as increasing quantities are consumed. The rearing concentrate can gradually be reduced and finally stopped.

                          Summary

1-4 days = Colostrum.

7 day = Early weaning concentrate.

3-5 weeks = Weaning from milk and milk substitutes.

14weeks = Hay and early weaning concentrate.

14-24weeks = Early weaning concentrate.

                  Late weaning method

  • From day 1-4days, colostrum is fed.
  • On the 4th day, whole milk or reconstituted milk is fed and remember, it is always 10% of the body weight.
  • At 3weeks, food quality hay, water and rearing concentrates are introduced.
  • Weaning from milk is between 12-16weeks.
  • From weaning to 24weeks, up to 3kg concentrate is fed daily with the gay and silage.

Read also: Morning routines of a farmer

So this should be all you need to know concerning weaning farm animals (calf). Do well to share to schools and agricultural firms that need this.

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