Posted on April 20, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist
Estimating starter grain needs for your calf operation can be challenging. For most farms, starter intake averages around 1.2 to 1.8 pounds per day for the 60-day nursery phase. Starter intake increases as calves get older and typically peaks at 5 to 7 pounds at 60 days for Holstein calves. Additional factors – such as surges in calving intensity, amount of starter grain shrink during rainy periods if calves are fed in pails outside, and the amount of starter grain fed to transition calves – all increase the complexity of estimating calf starter grain usage and inventory.
We developed a simple Calf Starter Usage Calculator to help take some of the guesswork out of estimating the amount of calf starter needed.