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.
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.
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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.