When weaning and backgrounding calves, producers should have strong health and nutrition plans in place. Janna Kincheloe, a livestock systems specialist at the NDSU Hettinger Research Extension Center, says this is the key to increase feed efficiency and gain. “Keeping long-stem hay in the bunk will help calves start eating. Then you can gradually introduce a concentrate or mixed ration.” Kincheloe goes on to say freshly weaned calves are more susceptible to health risks due to stress. “They are at risk for parasite infestation, so a deworming program is a good idea. Also, most of the time, we recommend calves get a Bovine Respiratory Disease and clostridial shot.”
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