Jersey Nutrition: Small Size Doesn't Mean Small Appetite

Jersey Nutrition: Small size doesn't mean small appetite

We see the benefits of feeding more nutrition to young calves. Research shows improved average daily gain and first-lactation milk production from calves fed a high level of nutrition pre-weaning.

Take advantage of these benefits by feeding a high level of nutrition diet tailored to your Jersey calves.

Jerseys have a reputation for having aggressive appetites and, as a result, they may consume a higher percentage of their bodyweight than other breeds. The ideal feeding level is 2 quarts three times a day for the first week and at least 2.25 to 3 quarts three times a day with 1.8 pounds or more of milk solids until weaning.

One point to remember when feeding Jersey calves is their surface-area-to-body-mass ratio is much greater than in other breeds, meaning they have more skin area exposed to the outside environment and are more likely to lose heat in cold temperatures. And because of their smaller body mass, Jersey calves can have challenges with heat loss even in the summer due to wet bedding, damp conditions or cold nights.

In addition to milk nutrition, starter can help provide needed energy to Jersey calves to help regulate body heat loss. A high-energy starter can also support an increase in feed intake and weight gain. Provide calves a handful of starter on day one and continue to increase amounts according to consumption.

Jersey calves may be small, but feeding a high level of nutrition can provide big results. Ask your calf and heifer specialist for more information on Jersey-specific feeding programs and the impact of feeding higher levels of nutrition.

To read the full article from Progressive Dairyman, click here.

Tags: Feeding Strategies, Jersey Nutrition