We believe that in order to have a successful milking herd, replacement heifers must be fed for performance and to maximize growth.
It is important for calves to be fed colostrum within the first 30 minutes of birth (Holstein calves should be fed approximately 1 gallon). To ensure calves are receiving enough colostrum, feeding through a nipple bottle or an esophageal feeder is very useful.
At Spectrum Feed Services, we offer MapleView Milk Replacer for calves between 2 days until weaning. We have two different feeding programs for calves based on the level of management instilled in each operation.
Our first program is the 'Economy Calf Feeding Program.' Calves in this program are put on the MapleView Easy Start (22-22-17) milk replacer and are offered free choice calf starter. The goal of this program is to maximize calf starter intake and minimize milk intake. This allows for the rumen to develop more quickly allowing for potential earlier weaning. We suggest this program to farmers who have a more passive approach to calf management and are looking for an easy economical way of feeding.
Our second program is the 'Accelerated Calf Feeding Program.' Calves in this program are put on the MapleView Sure Start + Deccox (26-26-17) milk replacer and are also offered free choice calf starter. Calves on this program are fed more volume of milk replacer than calves on the Economy Feeding Program. This program provides calves with a higher growth rate allowing for heifers to reach their breeding age 20-30 days sooner than conventionally fed calves. Calves on this program also have a higher milk production during their first lactation and in general are an all over healthier calf. This program is designed for farmers who have a more active calf management style.
We offer a variety of different calf starters based on your personal preferences. We have a coarse starter, pelleted starter and extruded starter. Most of our calf starters include a product called Micro-Aid which improves gut health and maximizes performance. The volatile fatty acids that result from grain digestion in calf starters stimulate the growth of the rumen papillae and it is the rumen papillae that utilizes the nutrition in forages. Improperly developed rumens simply cannot absorb the nutrition in forages. This will lead to poor ineffecient growth and potentially unhealthy calves.
We offer the following products for calves:
Mapleview Easy Start Milk Replacer
Mapleview Sure Start with Deccox Milk Replacer
19% Calf Starter Coarse
Extruded Calf Starter
16% Calf Grower Coarse
16% Calf Grower (pellet)
Both growers listed above, are designed to be fed from 2 months of age until 6 months of age. This pellet works very well at a more advantageous price. The only reason it is less expensive is that the cost of actually making the product is less than a coarse feed. Performance can actually be slightly better than the coarse feed as the product can be more consistent.