When Do Calves Start Eating Grass?

when do calves start eating grass
when do calves start eating grass

Farming is not something that you can take for granted. If you are planning to run a farm smoothly, it takes a lot of hard work. You will have to make sure that you are getting the best health possible for them.

The same goes for the farm animals, especially the cows and you need to take care of the calves right from birth to ensure that they are getting the perfect nutrition they are going to need so that they can grow to the right health. For those that are wondering when do calves start eating grass, here’s our guide that can help with this.

When Do Calves Start Eating Grass


Calves only depend on the milk solely for a day or two after they are born. So, it would be better to leave the mother for some time and not milk them after the birth so the calves can get the nutrition from milk. That would be the perfect thing to make sure that these calves are getting the right initial growth that they need to develop strength and immunity. After that, they can move on to eat other foods as well and they will systematically grow to eat and process a solid diet as well.


After a day or two, the calves will get to the nibbling part and they will start nibbling on the grass. That is a positive sign for healthy growth for all the calves as you can know that they are growing at a healthy rate and that is making them want to nibble on the grass. It will only take a couple of days after birth for your calves to be able to nibble on the grass, but it can also vary and take around a week depending on the health of the calf and how they are growing.


The calves will start ruminating when they get around 2-3 weeks old. That will not be a proper ruminating. But, they will start learning it and you can see that they are consuming the grass a bit. You should try getting them fresh and softer grass. This is so they don’t have to face any sort of problems with that. Then, that they can easily ruminate the grass without having any sort of digestion problem.

Full Rumen

The calves will take around 3 months from birth at a normal growth rate to develop full rumen. After that, they will be solely relying on grass and other fodder that you give them. Three months later, they will not have to rely on the milk at all. That would be the best thing for you to have. After their rumens are fully developed, you will not have to worry about the tenderness of the grass either.

That’s because they can also take the dry fodder that you might be giving your other cattle. Just make sure to take care of the calves before 90 days. Something odd in their grass or fodder can cause them to create digestion problems.

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