Calf weaning Calf weaning

Calf weaning

Weaning has a significant impact on the growth and health of calves. Our simple and straightforward advice makes weaning very effective, to improve calf development and growth after weaning is finished.

Intensive calf milk feeding programmes require more time for weaning

Milk should be reduced gradually over a period of 3-4 weeks and not stopped earlier than at 9-10 weeks of age, all aiming at adequate rumen development. A well-designed programme improves dry feed intake - and growth - before and after weaning. Adding forage plays a key role in supporting rumen development and health. Finally, offering clean, fresh water ad-libitum is essential.

How much calf starter a calf should eat when weaned

Calves like milk a lot. Milk is their feed by nature and it is very nutritious. The nett energy level in milk solids is around 2 times higher than in calf starter feed. This means that for every liter of milk lowered (containing 130-150g milk solids), a calf needs to consume 250 gram of calf starter feed. At weaning a calf should consume at least 1,5 – 2 kg calf starter a day.

Our offering for weaning management

Sprayfo AVANTA

Sprayfo AVANTA

Sprayfo Avanta is a research and experience-based set of guidelines for ingredients, formulation and feed additives, including IntelliBond trace elements. Sprayfo Avanta is produced locally, based on Sprayfo guidelines and adapted to local regulations or requirements.

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LifeStart programme

LifeStart programme

LifeStart is a science-based platform for dairy calves that deals with the critical first months of a dairy calf’s life.

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LifeStart intensive milk feeding strategies give farmers the support they need to make a critically important, well-designed weaning strategy.
Eile van der Gaast, Product Manager Calf Milk Replacers at Trouw Nutrition

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I feed chopped straw to my calves when they only consume around 100 grams a day?

Chopped straw is fed to young calves for the fibrous structure it provides. The fibre in straw stimulates the rumen-muscle contraction and development, which has a positive impact on calf starter intake; for every 50 grams of straw, the calf consumes 500 extra grams of calf starter!

What are the main limitations of calf starter intake?

Several factors influence calf starter intake: taste, free availability, feed bunk space, nutrient composition, water availability, forage provision and age difference in groups.


The Sprayfo Weaning protocol
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Would you like more information on calf rearing?

You can find out all about innovative calf to heifer rearing solutions on the Sprayfo website.

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