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Significant points in calf care in winter

21 February 20233 min reading

The response of animals to seasonal factors varies between different species. For example, the thermal comfort zone range for dairy calves older than three weeks is known to range from about 5°C to 20°C. Calves need special care as they move out of their thermal comfort zone during the winter season.


During the cold winter months, calves are often exposed to temperatures below their thermal comfort zone ranges. If proper care is not provided to the calves during these periods, the calves use their existing energy for growth and development needs as well as for heat production to keep themselves warm.


If calves do not consume a minimum of eight liters of high-quality calf feed or pasteurized milk per day in current feeding programs, the amount of milk offered should be increased to these levels.


It is very important to give four liters of high-quality colostrum to the newborn calf as soon as possible due to both providing passive immunity and rich nutritional content.


Apart from pasteurized milk or high-quality calf food, it is of great importance for calves to consume calf feed at an early age in order to consume more dry feed in the coming days.


Giving calves warm water at certain times of the day reduces the need to spend energy from the diet to keep the calf warm. By this means, the calf can use its energy for growth.


Significant health problems can be experienced in calves due to a lack of vitamins and minerals. Minerals, on the other hand, are of great importance in terms of different functions in animal organisms, such as the stimulation of muscles and nerves and the acid-base balance of the body.

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Significant points in calf care in winter

The response of animals to seasonal factors varies between different species. For example, the thermal comfort zone range for dairy calves older than three weeks is known to range from about 5°C to 20°C. Calves need special care as they move out of their thermal comfort zone during the winter season. The animal nutritionists of Trouw Nutrition, the world’s animal nutrition expert, share the considerations for proper animal care during the winter months.

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