Are you giving your calves enough fibre?
Fibre is one of the most important parts of a calf’s diet. Fibre improves the rumen development process in the early stages of life which optimises animal production and performance.
When fibre is consumed in the diet, it creates an abrasive effect in the rumen which reduces the chances of the muscular wall, known as papillae, clumping together.
Absorption of minerals and nutrients occurs through the papillae, so the greater the surface area of papillae, the more efficiently an animal’s food is broken down and utilised by the calf.
If this rumen development is not maximised in the calf’s early months, it may not use its food efficiently. Fibre can be provided in the form of roughage such as straw, hay, silage and haylage. A simple way of providing a calf with the adequate amount of fibre
is to provide the calves with a complete feed.
This reduces the risk of the calf eating too much roughage and causing ‘hay bellies’ which leaves the calf feeling full or bloated which may decrease their concentrate intake.
If a calf’s concentrate intake is reduced, this reduces the minerals absorbed. A complete feed saves on labour, by providing the calf with all its feed in one mix.
Our FibreGold Calf Starter 18% is available with the addition of alfalfa and haylage as the main source of fibre for your calves. This mixed ration provides the farmer with the security that the animals diet does not vary. This palatable ration is a great start for calves being fed on either whole milk or milk replacer. FibreGold Calf Starter can be fed ad-lib to calves alongside a clean water supply.