During calving season, farmers should be especially focused on energy as a supplement for production. Energy should be the basis of a calf’s diet as it is needed for normal bodily functions and growth.
When it comes to deciding between milk or milk replacements, farmers should consider which option will best meet their calves’ needs. The energy available to calves is directly attributed to the milk or milk substitute that is ingested during their first three weeks.
If you are looking to promote earlier ruminant development and solid food intake, then an option providing more lactose and less fat is usually advisable. This type of nutrient composition is usually evident in milk substitutes.
Fresh milk and properly formulated replacements usually contain more fats, which are highly digestible and contain the necessary nutrients to provide the calf with good growth and development.
When processing these fats, there are also incidents when the calves’ energy needs are higher. This can be due to growth spurts, colder temperatures, or unfavorable climatic conditions.