An immature calf is reliant on its enlarged abomasum and is capable of digesting milk only.
However, microbial colonisation in the rumen is essential for a calf’s development and function. The best way to kick start this process is to encourage early consumption of grain or grain based concentrates. For this reason it is recommended to introduce grain based rations to calves from day one.
Fresh, clean water should be available at all time, not just for hydration but also to help microbial digestion and subsequently rumen development.
Hay and/or high quality dietary fibre encourages rumen motility to begin and should be available, but it should not take up more than 10% of a calf’s total diet prior to weaning. Milk and concentrates are of more importance.
Probiotics such as MYLO® help accelerate and enhance the early development of diverse good microflora in the calf’s rumen.