The availability of creep feeds is crucial for rumen development. It is important to ensure the feed is palatable, dust-free and kept fresh to maximize intakes.
- Timing of the introduction of a creep feed to calves depends on target growth rates and the availability of milk and forage
- However, it should be introduced 4 weeks prior to weaning to minimise stress and avoid a weaning check. Feed availability should be gradually increased until the calves are consuming 1kg + per day at weaning time
- Creep feed should be minimum 16% protein, high in digestible fibre and relatively low in starch and palatable
- Vitamin and trace element supplementation is crucial to ensure maximum health, immune status and thrive
- Maintain weanlings on a creep feed for at least 1 week before gradually transferring to a grower ration