Friday, 29 July 2022 09:55

OAD feeding works

Written by  Staff Reporters
Torey Williams has been rearing more than 500 calves with probiotics on once-a-day (OAD) feeding at Reporoa since 2018. Torey Williams has been rearing more than 500 calves with probiotics on once-a-day (OAD) feeding at Reporoa since 2018.

Torey and Reece Williams are contract milking 830 cows (in three herds) on 230 hectares for Mark and Leanne Miers at Reporoa.

The couple milk all year around and while it spreads the calf rearing numbers, it also means the calves never completely go away.

They rear 200 replacements every year, along with 200 Friesian/Charolais calves (split between the spring and autumn), 15 Jersey bulls, and up to 100 Friesian bulls (reared to 100kg, depending on the season). They have been feeding OAD since 2018.

Torey said her two “main drivers” to embrace OAD feeding was that they had two young daughters, and that the calves seemed to drink more aggressively in the morning anyway.

“Sometimes you think that people go to OAD just because they don’t want to feed the calves in the afternoon,” Torey says.

“I just found on Calf Xtreme they were content, and not particularly interested in the afternoon feed.

“We have quite big Friesian calves and when we were giving them 2.5-3 litres in the morning and afternoon, they were significantly less content than when we changed to feeding six litres in a single feed in the morning.”

Torey says she’s also noticed the additional mass in their two-yearolds in the herd since introducing Calf Xtreme, which has given them confidence to compete with their mixed aged cows.

“When our heifers calve down, you struggle to pick them in the herd because they are so big,” Torey says.

“We watch when we are drafting between herds and we often find that all the heifers go in the first herd, and they dominate. They will all be in the first row – they’re the big dogs. I’m sure that early rumen development is the reason why.”

For Those Wanting More

Chris Collier says probiotics was a system for the inquisitive minds who wanted more.

Their clients are now feeding up to eight litres OAD to Friesians and five litres OAD to Jerseys.

“We aren’t dealing with the farmers that aren’t questioning. In the first year, many of them tried it as much for its health benefits as they did because they could safely feed more milk.

“It wasn’t until the second year that we started to push the higher rate of milk more actively.”

Calves 21 FBTW

Calves were more content and that they started eating hay and meal much faster.

He said that their farmers routinely reported that the calves were more content and that they started eating hay and meal much faster. They also noticed that they started to chew their cud earlier and more aggressively.

“Within two weeks these calves were knocking back up to half a kilogram of meal a day. Within a month that was up to 1kg.”

More like this

Indonesian meat ban

Travellers are no longer allowed to bring personal consignments of any meat products from Indonesia into New Zealand.


Genetics focus boosts herd

A strong focus on genetics and DNA has paid dividends for Fernside dairy farmer Julie Bradshaw with four of her…

Machinery & Products

A baler like no other

While baler-wrapper combinations have become the backbone of baled silage production, one machine stands out from the rest in the…

Small bales in demand

While round or large square bales have the dominant shares in the rural landscape, small square bales still play an…

Amazone's one-pass operation

Ag machinery maker Amazone has paired up its Precea precision air seeder and Combi-Disc 3000 compact disc harrow to deliver…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

$1m remains unpaid

OPINION: A group of New Zealand farmers who collectively sold $1 million worth of cattle to a live export company…

Too close for comfort

OPINION: One vet believes the threat of foot-and-mouth entering New Zealand is much higher than what authorities tell the public.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter