Forage provision for calves from day 1 can stimulate more rumination and decrease abnormal oral behaviors. Early forage consumption does not harm rumen development, growth, or health, and can increase grain consumption and improve transition to TMR at weaning.
Which animals to assess:
Evaluate milk-fed calves based on the sampling guidelines.
How to assess:
Calves must be offered forage by day 1 of age. Bedding does not count as forage. Calves housed freely on pasture have acceptable forage access; calves kept in confinement to a limited grass space would not count.
There is currently no repeatability test for this measure.