For Joe Hewitt the challenge was to find a consistent and cost-effective feeding system for his calves.
“I knew I needed to make a change and I had heard great performance reports from other farmers who fed their calves Triple AAA Golden Maverick calf milk replacer. I contacted local Volac business manager, Tomas O’Reilly, whom after assessing my system confirmed it would be a perfect fit.
I then purchased a Volac Förster-Technik automatic calf feeder with two feed stations to assist with feeding and labour-saving and I haven’t looked back since”, Joe said.
A system that works
Joe purchases Angus, Hereford and Belgium Blue bred calves in early autumn, direct from farms or from marts. The heifers are kept until 20-24 months of age at which time they are slaughtered. All bulls are sold at 12 months of age in the mart.
“Installing the Volac Förster-Technik was a no-brainer, it has brought a greater level of consistency to my calf rearing.
“The machine gives me peace of mind that the calves are being fed the correct volume of Triple AAA Golden Maverick milk replacer at the correct intervals.
“It’s impressive how the feeder monitors each calf’s feeding pattern. It will identify if a calf is not drinking their full allocation of milk or if they are under performing. It also illustrates if a calf is showing signs of sickness – this is of huge benefit to me as I am often off farm with my other work commitments.
“I’m really delighted with the system and the performance of the calves on Triple AAA Golden Maverick milk replacer”, explained Joe.
Calves arrive on farm at 2-3 weeks of age, and at this stage they are offered straw, clean, fresh water and ad-lib ration and Triple AAA Golden Maverick.
Joe manually calibrates the feeder once a week, each calf receives six litres of Triple AAA Golden Maverick milk replacer per day for 40 days. After day 40, the calves are gradually weaned over 30 days with the aim of doubling their birth weight by weaning time.
“I top up the feeder with milk replacer every morning on one of my stock checks,” Joe said.
Joe explains how he believes good ventilation is often an underrated factor to successful calf rearing and as a result puts a big emphasis on his calves’ environment.
“It’s important to ensure that calves have a warm, dry and draft free environment so they have the best opportunity to thrive.
“I try to keep the area clean and tidy and change the bedding regularly”, stated Joe.
Joe likes to do things once and do them right and is very particular in nature.
“By keeping the place clean it helps reduce any harmful bacteria that may be present”, he said.
If harmful bacteria make their way into the calf shed it can cause huge setbacks and reduced thrive in calves.
Triple AAA Golden Maverick
The use of a quality calf milk replacer is key to a successful calf to beef system. Joe believes you get what you pay for when it comes to calf milk replacers. “If I feed my calves a lower spec milk replacer then my calves will not perform as well.
“I’m aware that feeding a high-quality milk replacer like Triple AAA Golden Maverick comes at a perceived cost, but I believe due to its quality it is a key contributing factor to my calves achieving their target weights”, said Joe.
Triple AAA Golden Maverick is a tried and tested performer that uses the best ingredients, with the best processes giving great results every time. Triple AAA Golden Maverick calf milk replacer contains specially selected proteins and oils designed to support fast early growth in calves. It is made up of specially selected proteins and oils designed to support fast early growth in your calves. It contains 23% whey-based protein and has a unique blend to capture flavour, mixability, consistency and essential nutrients. An unrivalled range based on over 50 years of experience, Triple AAA Golden Maverick calf milk replacer is designed to meet the challenges of today’s calf rearers.
A winning combination
“So far, my calves have performed extremely well on Triple AAA Golden Maverick calf milk replacer. We have experienced growth rates of 1kg per day with some calves achieving greater than 1kg. The quality of calf I purchase, partnered with the calf milk replacer and the Förster-Technik automatic calf feeder are key factors to the high-performance levels we achieve”, Joe highlighted.
Joe also attributes the success of his calves’ performance to the advice he receives from his local Volac business manager, Tomas O’Reilly.
“When I met Tomas last year we discussed the layout of the calf shed - he offered sound advice on the layout and position of the Förster-Technik automatic calf feeder. The feeder was installed shortly after by a Volac engineer.
“If I have questions regarding the calf feeder, milk replacer or require technical advice Tomas is always on hand to offer his support”, Joe concluded.
Volac’s national network of business managers and engineers ensure that farmers have complete technical and engineering support on all aspects of computerised feeders, milk replacers and the company’s range of nutritional and health products.
For further information on Triple AAA Golden Maverick calf milk replacer or on automatic calf feeders contact your local Volac business manager here.