Warm Calves for Winter Best

by Jo Gaul, ATR Thrive Calf Consultant

Keep calves warm for top performance!

With temperatures dropping and the onset of winter, freezing conditions emerge and the maintenance energy needs of the calf increases. Calves generate heat to maintain constant body temperature. In cold temperatures the calf will be using so much energy and body reserves to keep warm that it will not gain weight and will be more susceptible to disease.

Question: How Can I Achieve A Positive Calf Energy Balance?

Immediately after birth the calf’s energy supply switches from the maternal blood supply of glucose as their main source of energy, to milk solids and lactose to meet their energy needs.

Extra milk solids are essential during Lower Critical Temperatures for the calf to maintain body weight and daily weight gain (1/2 - 1lb per day). To achieve Calf Energy Balance, the calf will need either extra milk volume fed daily, (such as 3 quarts 3x daily), or feeding milk with a higher concentration of solids, (such as 3 quarts 2x daily).

Calves wearing jackets inside pen with hay
Jackets and warm bedding are key to winter success!

Calves under 3 weeks will not have sufficient enzyme production nor rumen function to convert the amount of metabolizable energy required from whole milk, milk replacer and calf starter. Digestive discomfort, inflammation and nutritional scours get in the way of effective calf nutrition management in cold conditions.

Get-Go® products provide the calf with extra digestive and immune support during this time of stress by creating more available Metabolizable Energy from the increased milk source.

Cold temperatures need not hold back your calves any longer.

Rule Of Thumb: Calves exposed to temperatures below 59 F will need 10% more Maintenance Energy for every 10 F decrease. The unique formulation of the Get-Go  products are powerful solutions to nutritional scour, stress and disease. Use Get-Go  MR+ and Get-Go  NM+ as tools to provide an uncomplicated approach to calf nutrition and keep calves in a Positive Energy Balance during the months of cold weather.

In addition to deep bedding, calf jackets, draft free clean environment and increased nutrition, the Get-Go® products will get them going, and keep them going this winter.

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