Top 4 effective methods of raising calves at home

Top 4 effective methods of raising calves at home

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Having your own livestock in the household is a serious help, bringing both financial benefits and products in the form of meat, milk and products derived from it. But in order to make a profit, you need to master all the intricacies of raising calves, choose the right method, learn to avoid diseases and solve numerous problems.

Calf keeping methods

The success of raising cattle and making a profit depends on how correctly the young are kept.


In this method, the calves are placed in separate houses with a small personal aviary, so the animal can choose whether to be outdoors or go indoors. Modern cases are made from durable, opaque plastics that are easy to maintain.

Animals quickly adapt to living conditions.

They are in clean air, do not suffer from ammonia and other gases released by manure.

Receive the required dose of sunlight.

The risk of the rapid spread of infectious diseases is eliminated.

Cattle are easier to care for.

The cost of purchasing or building individual houses.

Overconsumption of milk required under harsh conditions.


With this method, young animals on the farm are kept for six months in groups of 10 to 20 animals of the same age.

Calves develop faster.

There is competition in the group that stimulates weight gain through efficient feed intake.

Risk of accelerated spread of infections.


This method involves raising calves under a cow for up to 7 or 8 months. In this case, one cow can feed up to 2-3 suckers.

Mass gain due to the increased amount of easily digestible protein (colostrum and milk).

Absence of diseases of the digestive system.

The minimum mortality of offspring in the first months of life.

Rapid growth of animals.

The minimum cost of labor and funds.

Without careful care and attention to cows and young animals, the method may not give the expected result.

It is necessary to provide animals with full-fledged food and comfortable rooms.

Content technologies

When rearing young animals, two maintenance technologies are used: traditional and cold. Each of them has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Cold method

This method is considered the most effective, suitable for raising livestock for milk and meat. With this method, animals from the first day of life are kept in separate rooms outside, without heating, only on a bedding.

Stimulating the body's reserves in harsh conditions leads to rapid weight gain.

Disease prevention by strengthening immunity and hardening.

Calves in the fresh air get enough vitamin D.

Keeping in the cold stimulates the thyroid gland to function, ensuring an excellent metabolism.

The costs of building individual houses.

High milk consumption due to low temperatures of the content.


This method has been around for a long time, but it is still common. At first, the calves are kept with their mothers, then the grown offspring is separated from the cows.

Almost no costs.

Young animals are in an advantageous position even with a sharp change in temperature, because they are warmed and protected, fed by the mother.

Young animals may have digestive problems.

Disease can affect many livestock in a short period.

Gobies and heifers do not receive enough vitamin D, therefore, with this technology, they are more often affected by rickets and have a weakened immune system.

What to feed?

The nutrition of calves at different periods of life has significant differences, which must be known to prevent various digestive problems and for the normal development of animals.

During the milk period

This period lasts up to 4 months. This is an important time for the normal development of the calf and the formation of its health. It is advisable to keep the newborn with the cow for at least the first 2 weeks and be sure to drink colostrum.

Expert opinion

Zarechny Maxim Valerievich

Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.

If for some reason you have to feed calves without a cow, then they are fed a liter of colostrum 4 times a day, two hours after birth. It is advisable to feed the animal both on the farm and at home at regular intervals.

On the fifth day, calves are taught to drink water, while herd owners need to understand that milk is food and water is drink. Animals should not be deprived of water, hoping that they will receive a sufficient amount of fluid from their mother's milk. When feeding calves, water is often added to the milk, gradually switching to the reverse. It is impossible to switch abruptly to it from whole or slightly diluted milk, as this will cause diarrhea. This should be done gradually, in stages, until the calf can do without milk at all, switching to other feeds.


In order to raise an animal for meat, feeding should last up to one and a half years. During this period, it is important to provide the calf with complete, balanced feed.

Moreover, it is believed that the use of dry feed is more convenient for animal owners, as it reduces the risk of gastrointestinal diseases and removes part of the cost of preparing high-quality liquid products.

It is also easier for calves to independently regulate the level of consumption of such feed, and the increase in live weight is fast and efficient. For raising dairy cattle, preference is given to bulk feed - hay, silage, root crops, and for meat - compound feed, concentrates.

Breeding features

Raising calves requires monitoring the following conditions:

  1. The size of the group of animals. In a large group, calves are often nervous, anxious, and move a lot, which leads to irrational use of feed and a decrease in growth.
  2. In a group, it is desirable to collect calves of the same age and body weight - this way you can avoid collisions and achieve a uniform weight gain.
  3. There should be enough space per animal, which is calculated based on the floor area per head of the livestock. Overcrowding leads to injuries, reduced sleep and rest, and a decrease in the amount of food eaten and water drunk.
  4. An important feature when breeding calves is the so-called feeding front, that is, the distance between animals when eating feed. It should be at least 35 centimeters per head. At the same time, a calm and even consumption of feed is ensured. The calves are full almost at the same time and lie down to rest.
  5. Choosing the right type of feed. If the calves are planned to be used in dairy farming, from an early age they need to be taught to eat voluminous juicy feed. For meat cultivation, concentrated feed predominates in the diet.

Hay and other dry feeds are introduced only after the calves have reached one month of age, because their stomach (rumen) was previously not adapted for digesting coarse foods.

Growing hygiene for beginners

In order for the calves to grow regularly, not get sick and gain weight, it is not enough just to feed them well. They need to be provided with adequate care, which consists of the following:

  1. Cleanliness of the room where the calves are. Dust, manure, urine, old, stale bedding, scattered, partially eaten food - all these become the causes of animal diseases.
  2. Maintaining a comfortable temperature, not low and not high, which guarantees the animals' comfort and the absence of extreme changes - sharp cooling or heating of the air. It is optimal to maintain a temperature of 16-18 degrees Celsius for one-month-old calves, at 2 months they will suit 15-17 degrees, at 3-4 months - from 12 to 15 degrees, and in six months animals can withstand 11-13 degrees. Hypothermia is extremely dangerous, because it leads to a decrease in immunity, deterioration in digestion and assimilation of food, as well as the development of diseases.
  3. Regular airing of the room without drafts. It is necessary to remove gases emitted by the calves themselves and manure, as well as to eliminate stuffiness, which has a detrimental effect on animal health.
  4. Walks in the open air. Calves intended for livestock recovery (replacement) need to be released daily, which improves their well-being, promotes health, and the sun's rays help to produce vitamin D, which is necessary for strong bones, teeth and hooves, and overall excellent well-being.

The animals themselves must also be kept clean, check the condition of the skin for damage and insect bites, eyes, ears and genitals for discharge, and hooves for strength and absence of rot.

With proper hygiene, proper feeding and maintenance, raising calves will be a successful activity and will bring profit to the owner.

Possible problems

Up to 15% of newborn calves die in the first days and weeks of life. In order for the business to be promising, developing and generating income, it is necessary to preserve the maximum number of offspring. To do this, it is necessary to prevent diseases, especially infectious ones, which can “mow down” the entire herd, from young to adult cows.

In addition to infection, the causes of problems can be humidity and cold in the room, improper feeding and poor lighting, and lack of ventilation. From weak light, a lice develops on animals, with excessive humidity - hoof rot, drafts provoke inflammation of the lungs and / or kidneys.

You need to look after small calves, pay attention to them, monitor their health. Then they will develop well, grow up strong, steadily gaining weight. This will bring profit to the company or individual, strengthen its position.

Watch the video: 8 Ways To Get Perfect Calves (December 2022).