While this system has the potential to increase output on some farms, if animals don’t hit targets, it will turn out to be a loss-making enterprise. Calves born in early March should be coming close to 100kg and should be coming off milk by now. Make sure that these calves are consuming 1kg/concentrates/day before weaning and ideally move to once-a-day feeding weaning gradually over a number of days.
Once outdoors, these calves should get access to the best-quality grass and get allocated fresh grass every two to three days to maximise liveweight gains. Calves should be 240kg at housing to hit targets. Some farms continue to feed 1kg/meal/head/day at grazing and use it as a herding tool when checking stock. Keep an eye out for coccidiosis (black/mucus scour and excessive pressing) and treat accordingly. These animals will also be more prone to worm infection and faecal samples should be taken on a regular basis to determine worm burden and dose accordingly.