How many calves should be kept in a group?

The ideal group size is between four and six calves. When feeding with buckets or for example at a milk bar, this is a manageable number of animals of around the same age, that will not compete too much. However, if you feed your calves with a drinking machine, you will soon find yourself with between 10 and 15 calves in a single pen. “Make sure they have a feeling of being satisfied after eating,” recommended Johan Verdaasdonk, young cattle ­specialist at Nutrifeed. “Otherwise you will have ­problems with suckling. And make sure that there is plenty of hay, straw and pellets so that every calf can have enough.” His final recommendation was to only feed milk once a day during the last week, rather than twice a day.”

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