Measuring dairy heifer calf growth- Results from South UK
Growing healthy heifers well is vital for future dairy herd health, production and profit.
Problems seen in Holstein Friesian systems versus "Spring calving cross breds" were-
- no growth in the first week of life
- poor growth after that until weaning
- more disease
- greater variation of weight for age
All probably due to Calf Milk Replacer versus real milk and narrower age range, generally due to disease (mainly respiratory), inadequate protein intake, poor rumen development and / or competition for feed.
(Summary of Cattle Practice May 17, vol25, pt2, pg92. Bazeley et al)