Essay Example on Efficient calf management plays a crucial role in producing and Supplying









INTRODUCTION Efficient calf management plays a crucial role in producing and supplying healthy and productive replacement stock for the dairy herd of the farm When better start in life is given to calves in terms of feeding housing and healthcare they are more likely to grow into healthy and profitable assets The important targets of successful calf management are to keep calf mortality to a minimum maintain good calf growth and health to raise the desired number of healthy and productive replacement stock In an ideal condition calf mortality should be less than 5 Blood and Radostits 1989 But in India neonatal calf mortality ranges from 12 5 to 30 Verma et al 1980 and in the world it ranges from 8 7 to 64 Khan and Khan 1991 Calf mortality in the first month of age is about 80 85 of the total mortality Jenny et al 1981 and is particularly high in the 3rd week of life Umoh 1982 Diseases of the newborn calf and calf mortality are the major causes of economic losses in livestock production It is roughly estimated that a calf mortality of 20 may reduce net profit to 40 Blood and Radostits 1989 Poor health and mortality of the calves are largely associated with the unhygienic management as growth and productivity are mainly dependent on nutrition and management practices At birth a calf is as good as a non ruminant pre ruminant stage which may last up to three months The rumen is underdeveloped abomasum is active and makes up for 70 of total volume Calves are born hypoglobulinemic or agammaglobulinemic as epitheliochorial placenta of the cow separates the maternal and fetal blood supplies preventing in utero transmission of protective immunoglobulins Newborn calf only has enough energy stores in the form of fat and glycogen to last for approximately 18 hours without colostrum consumption 

Bovine colostrum contains many beneficial substances like immunoglobulins lactoferrin proline rich polypeptide cytokines and vitamins that will aid in the fortification of the immune system They are able to absorb Ig from colostrum for a limited time after birth little absorption is possible beyond 24 hours The calf s acquisition of colostral immunoglobulins through absorption in the intestine is called passive transfer or passive immunity helps to protect the calf against common disease organisms until its own immature immune system becomes functional Calves without adequate circulating IgG are four times more likely to die and twice as likely to become ill as calves with adequate circulating immunoglobulins White and Andrews 1986 So calves must get adequate quantity of first colostrum from its dam within 1 2 1 hr after birth to acquire passive immunity Thereafter the calves may be allowed to get colostrum every 6 8 hrs for first 4 5 days Total quantity fed during 24 hrs should be about 1 10th of its body weight Calves are defined as having a failure of passive transfer FPT if the calf serum IgG concentration is less than 10 mg ml when sampled between 24 and 48 hours of age Achieving early and adequate intake of high quality colostrum is widely recognized as the single most important management factor in determining health and survival of the neonatal calf In addition to reduced risk for preweaning morbidity and mortality additional long term benefits associated with successful passive transfer include reduced mortality in the postweaning period improved rate of gain and feed efficiency reduced age at first calving improved first and second lactation milk production and reduced tendency for culling during the first lactation From birth until weaning to dry feed i e up to 3 months of age the calf undergoes tremendous physiologic and metabolic changes and during this period if the calves are bucket fed too infrequently rapid ingestion of a large volume of milk increases the risk of formation of defective curd in the abomasum 

This results in overloading of the intestine with protein and leads to bacterial overproliferation culminating to diarrhea In practice the dairy farms where weaning of calves is done at birth they are fed twice a day as milking is also done twice but with this feeding frequency the abomasum sits empty too long This causes low pH and it might lead to abomasal ulcerations In the natural condition when a calf is left with its dam it will suckle on average 7 to 10 times per day and consume substantially larger quantities of milk Albright and Arave 1997 And according to Walker newborn calves suckle their dam 5 8 times in a day Older animal suckle less frequently Zebu calves suckle an average of 9 5 times per 24 hours at 1 month of age and 5 6 times at 6 months of age Hutchison et al 1962 Thus the current study is designed to investigate the effect of feeding frequency of colostrum and milk on the health status and growth efficiency of Karan Fries calves Objectives of the Proposed Research Work To study the effect of feeding colostrum and milk at different intervals and frequencies on the health growth performance behaviour and welfare of crossbred dairy calves To study the economic feasibility of increasing the feeding frequency of crossbred dairy calves

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