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New cutting edge calf rearing system

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Minchies  are now introducing the most exciting, new cutting edge, MSP Calf rearing system to the dairy industry.

Peter Minchella, Principal of Minchies Stock Feeds, is a second generation dairy farmer with 20 years experience in the Macalister Irrigation District, Gippsland Victoria.

After leaving dairy farming, Peter has been involved in the introduction of new products and in particular their relevance to enhancing the dairy industry.

Minchies Stock Feeds only deal with completely natural products, without antibiotics and other chemically based additives.

Minchies Stock Feeds are the Sole distributor of this product on the East Coast of Australia.

The emphasis behind this pellet is early rumen development, producing more productive livestock, Calves are fed colostrums for the first 3 days, followed up by 7 clear days of milk feeding (no calf scours), at which stage the milk solids are reduced by 20% per day,  leaving the calves with pure water through the teat, ad-lib feeding of  the MSP pellet and sweet cereal hay to cover their feed needs.

The MSP Pellet has enough food value in it to cover all requirements for calf development in the early stages. They will consume approx 40kgs of MSP pellet in the first 6 weeks of development.

Calves are kept in pens for 6 weeks whilst on the MSP pellet and sweet cereal Hay and then liberated on to grass at the 7th week, at which stage the rumen has developed to the point that they can utilise the grass and bring them up to the next stage of development. At this stage we feed a follow up pellet “707 All Rounder” which can be fed ad-lib to further rumen development and achieve excellent weight gain.

Calves are inoculated at 7 days of age with “7 in 1” vaccine and followed up at 5 weeks with a booster of “7 in 1” vaccine.

This system is radically different to all other calf rearing systems. It has been developed over a 20 year period by a Rumen and Saliva specialist. The real benefit with this system is the production of hardier animals which utilise pasture at an early stage. This leads to rapid growth rates and in the end a more productive adult cow which has the potential to produce more milk off pastures.

The real beauty of this product is the ease of rearing young calves in whatever numbers.

After the calves have reached the stage where they are solely on the MSP pellet and sweet cereal hay, there are no milk related diseases to deal with, the calves virtually rear themselves.

Each day the farmer only needs to do a quick inspection to make sure they have enough hay, pellets and water and also to check that they are in a clean environment.

Hydration is a very important part of this rearing system, by giving the calves water through the teat.
 Ad-lib, the calf can decide when it needs more hydration; also they have a trough available to them throughout the penned stage. At the 7th week when the calves go onto grass, there is no transitional stage.

The calves do not loose condition because their rumen has advanced to the stage where they can utilise the grass, resulting in a smooth weight gain and very happy, content animals.

One thing that is particularly obvious is that Jersey calves and Jersey/Friesian cross Calves is that they gain better condition and look better with this system rather than milk rearing. All calves will eat grass much more aggressively after being on this system.

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