The benefits of mixed rations for calf-rearing or for bullocks
On bullock farms, or more specifically on calf-rearing farms, uniform daily increases in weight for high-ranking as well as less high-ranking livestock is a key prerequisite for animal welfare and for commercial success. It is important here to have a correct feed concept to assure stable development of the rumen (first stomach) and to take preventive measures against diseases such as calf diarrhoea. Qualitative and homogeneous feeding constitutes the basis for optimum animal welfare and health.
An overview of typical rations:
From practice: Gollhammer calf-rearing farm
Farmer Manfred Gollhammer from the Braunau am Inn district (Upper Austria) has space in his byre for about 120 calves that he obtains at a weight of 80 kg and that he later sells on at a weight of 180 kg. Gollhammer views the greatest challenge to be keeping these hungry creatures healthy and fit, and to make the transition in eating characteristics from calf to ruminant as easy as possible.
“Over the last few years, I have been making my own dry TMR for my calves. This involves me once a week in mixing all the dry components in the stationary 4 m³ mixer from Mammut – when spreading feed on a daily basis, I then load my small spreader with corn silage and deliver the complete ration to the animal shed. The dry TMR is transported to the spreader on a conveyor belt, enabling everything to run mechanically and simplifying the task of daily feeding of my livestock. Since using the feed mixer, I have been able to reduce the average fattening period of the feeders by approx. 20 days and increase the daily weight gain per animal by 150 g. For me, this not only means improved yield but also reduces the risk of loss through calf diarrhoea or other diseases. In overall terms, my livestock is more robust, the animals look good and there are fewer disputes at the feed trough”.
Tips for successful calf TMR
The feeding of calves is an important topic and every bullock farm needs to address it. Here, the foundation is laid for good livestock health and reliable daily increases in bullock – and this process enables you to identify quickly which feed components are most compatible with the animals, preventing disease. The use of calf straw in mixed rations has now become an established aspect of raising ruminants – the high roughage content of this feed promotes the growth of rumen villus (stomach bacteria) and is also popular with the livestock. Many farmers use dust-free barley straw because it contains no mycotoxins and is therefore easier for these animals to digest. If straw is added to the mixed ration as a feed component, always ensure that the straw length is about the width of a mouth – calves tend to select fibre that is too long.
Another populate ingredient in feed for calves is dried pulpy reside from apples: This is not only very tasty but also contains pectin that contributes to good intestinal health. From Week 4, the pre-ruminant phase starts at which point you can start mixing corn silage into the ration. This guides livestock step by step into the high-energy feed needed for beef production. The important thing is for the changes in feed to be gradual, following a carefully thought out concept – this reduces the risk of diarrhoea and makes the transition from suckling calf to healthy ruminant.
The mix ratio is what makes the difference
Especially with small-grained mix rations that are popular forms of feed for bullock or calf-rearing farms, uniform mixing of components has an important role to play. The PROFI MIX range of feed mixers has compact container volume and powerful screws to produce high-quality rations, specifically for calves or for bullock farms.
Both screws on the self-propelled PM 2.5 SF mixer rotate together and have special edges – these mix the components reliably, especially for fine feed proportions to produce homogeneous calf TMR feed or TMR feed for bullocks. The small size of the container also makes it possible to produce different and precise rations more easily.
Screw: stationary, drawn, three-point
The stationary or towed PROFI MIX models are equipped with a round screw. With a greater fibre content or material containing longer fibres, this shape of screw delivers first-class results. When acting together with the more aggressive blades and the two contra-rotating screws, high-quality shredding and thorough mixing are achieved.
Success in the animal shed with the PROFI MIX feed mixer
The Mammut stationary, towed and self-propelled feed mixing systems are all designed to prepare the most precise mixing possible. Compact mixer sizes with volumes of 1.5 m³ to 4 m³ speak for themselves. A low design, the manoeuvrability of the self-propelled unit and also the scope for individual adaptation and the accessory options combine to make the PROFI MIX feed mixers the ideal tool for helping with ideal feed production – all entirely without the need for conversion work. This means that you can make optimum use of the existing animal shed buildings, even with low ceiling heights or narrow aisles. In practice, this of course translates into greater workplace convenience – but above all also higher yields and greater economy.