Ask the Expert: Body Condition Scoring of Calves
- Energy intakes: Intakes must be increased during cooler temperatures by adjusting milk volume, replacer amount, replacer type, or addition of a high fat supplement to milk or milk replacer.
- Environment of the calf: Keeping calves well bedded and off concrete will avoid extra energy loss to the bedding surface. Additionally, making sure bedding is dry will prevent energy loss from wet hair coats.
- Calf blankets: Calf blankets can be used in calves less than one-month-old when temperatures fall below 40 degrees F. Make sure that calves do not sweat during the day, resulting in calves becoming chilled during cooler evening temperatures.
- Starter: Early intake of calf starter significantly increases energy status in young calves and ensures positive energy status during the winter months. Note that access to water is critical for calves to begin consuming starter early in life.
- Water temperature: Warm water is preferred for young calves to prevent spending additional energy to warm cold water back up to body temperatures.
Calf and heifer nutrition
Starting Strong - Calf Care