System of Calf Rearing
1. Sucking method:
In this method, the calf is allowed to stay with its mother and allowed to suckle only a little before and after of milking the cow. The calf gets whole milk throughout lactation.
i) This is natural system of feeding.
ii) The calf gets contamination free milk.
iii) No much care is required to take during feeding.
iv) The mother-calf affection developed.
i) If calf dies, the cow refuses to let the milk.
ii) It can not be ascertained about over feed or under feeding of the calf.
iii) If milk is infected the infection may be to calf.
iv) The actual quantity of milk yield of cow can not be calculated.
v) The post partum heat is late.
2. Weaning method:
In this system, the calf is taken away from its mother either just after the birth or after 2-3 days of birth, sometimes it is allowed till the period of colostrum feeding. After that, the calf rearing is entirely by isolation system.
The immediate step, after weaning of the calf is to teach it to drink milk is very important
Nipple system: Used for 3-4 days-aged calves. A pail containing milk equipped with rubber nipple used which the calf sucks.
Hand fiddling: When the calf develops appetite insert two fingers of right hand into the mouth while holding milk in left hand at convenient height for the calf. While calf suckles the fingers, the muzzle is gradually pressed down into milk pan. This way calf learns to drink milk.
i) Cow continues to give milk whether calf is alive or not.
ii) The calf can be culled at an early stage.
iii) It can be fed scientifically as per requirements no problem of under feeding and over feeding.
iv) The actual amount of milk produced by cow can be determined.
v) Milking without calf is more hygienic & sanitary.
vi) Cow becomes regular breeder; the calving interval is less than the unweaned calves.
3. Milk feeding schedule to the calf:
The calf after weaning from the Jam, it should be fed with the whole milk, skim milk and re-constituted milk and also calf starters in gradual age. The temperature of the milk must be body temp. I.e. 39°C, the utensils used must be clean and sterilized; the milk should be fed twice a daily.
|Body weight (kg)|
Calf age (days)
Colostrums (lire. Per body wt.)
Whole milk (liters per body weight)
Skim milk (liters per body wt.)
6 – 20
It is mixture of grain protein feeds, minerals, vitamins & antibiotics. It has been evolved for use with limited whole milk. An ideal calf starter contains 20% DCP, & 70% TDN.
If the calves raised with calf starter, the schedule is:
Whole Milk (Kg)
Skim Milk (Kg)
Calf Starter in Kgs.
141-182 (up to 6 months)