Group Feeding

group feedingGroup feeding has become more popular in recent years because of the time and labour savings when feeding calves. Calves are social animals and group feeding allows them to interact more with each other. Two methods that are popular are automatic calf feeders and the Acidified Milk Program. The automatic calf feeder automatically mixes the milk replacer in 0.5 – 1.0 litre batches so the calf is always drinking warm, fresh milk. The machine works seven days a week, 365 days a year, with no labour required to mix the milk and feed the animals by hand. The other popular option is the Acidified Milk Program. Its methods of getting calves to drink milk vary greatly, but is has been very successful in getting calves to drink more milk. Both of these options have been successful in producing healthier calves because calves consuming more milk. However, group feeding does have its challenges as it is harder to see the signs of sickness in a group. And in the event of a disease outbreak, it can spread more rapidly because of nose–to–nose contact between the animals.

Designing Good Environments and Management for Calves Cross-Sucking
Group Feeding Calves
Group Housing Calves, by Dan Weary.

Click through below to learn more about two popular methods of group feeding.

Automatic Calf Feeders

The greatest advantage of automated calf feeders is reduction in labour. However, you must remember you are still dealing with live animals and calves still need to be visually checked twice daily. If the automatic feeder you are using is […]

Acidified Milk Feeding Program

Dr. Neil Anderson, a veterinarian with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), has done a lot of research into feeding calves on the Acidified Milk Feeding Program. Using this program, calves have access to milk 24 […]