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Consistency, palatability, high growth rates

If there’s one person who knows more about rearing calves, Joanne Leigh of Top Notch Calves would be top of the list. With over 3000 hungry autumn calves to feed and more than 6000 to rear in spring, there’s a lot on the line and there’s no room for risk.

From the moment calves arrive there’s a strict process to be followed.

They get a health check, a salmonella vaccination and are fed electrolytes. The following morning the calves are fed warm milk and graded on drinking ability in pens of 22. The calves are fed 4 litres once a day – which works out about 600 grams of CMR per calf. Joanne explains:

"Consistency is really important for rearing healthy calves, from keeping them in the same pens, same people handling them, same feeding time and same milk."

“Calves need to be treated like babies and should be fed warm milk – they don’t like change, it upsets their stomachs. When we feed them a Calf Milk Replacer, we prefer Ancalf because it’s as close to cow’s milk as possible – especially in relation to fat and protein percentages. We also looking for a product that contains all the mineral and vitamins calves need, plus a coccidiostat. The calves love Ancalf and we get the high growth rates we need. So always compare the price to the quality of product.”

Joanne Leigh from Top Notch Calves

2:34 mins