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Calf Rearing

Calf Rearing

There has been a significant change in calf rearing in recent years

  • Sexed semen is revolutionising replacement heifer numbers
  • The friesian export game offers another source of profit for farmers
  • Better understanding how the role of colostrum improves calf survival
  • Investment in shedding and feed systems makes it easier

At the Vet Group we recognise the importance of getting it right when it comes to calf rearing.  We offer a comprehensive support package that covers areas such as:

  • Setting up the cows and maiden heifers with appropriate vaccinations, drenches and trace elements prior to calving
  • Understanding how to achieve high quality colostrum
  • Monitoring blood levels of antibody uptake
  • Teams training programs in house or externally to manage colostrum feeding
  • Advice on calf feeding including fortified milk programs
  • Diagnosing and treating scours and other diseases
  • Managing pneumonia in calves
  • Advice on bedding and shedding

We offer these services through our regular farm visits. We also offer customised training programs on farm as well as regular clinic-based group training workshops.

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The growing demand by customers for farmers to use all available techniques to optimise animal welfare has resulted in some processors demanding that disbudding is done using sedation and local anaesthesia. Our disbudding team is fully qualified to sedate calves, perform local anaesthesia and disbud using a hot gas iron. Along with sedation and local anaesthetic, we include long-acting pain relief to minimise the negative effects disbudding can have.  This results in better feed intake and weight gains. Our service also includes checking for extra teats, hernias, ringing bull calves and any other health issues.

Calf rearing support products

The Perfect Udder® Colostrum Management System is the key to easy and hygienic collection, storage and feeding of colostrum on dairy farms.

DairyTech Platinum Series Pasteurisers heat treat colostrum to inactivate the major pathogens in colostrum (such as Bovine Johnes Disease, Salmonella and Mycoplasma) while maintaining the level of antibodies so that their transfer to calves is not affected.

Brix refractometers assess colostrum quality. They are cheap, robust and easy to use.

Calf coats keep calves warm and dry. These calf coats are made of a durable, dirt and water resistant washable nylon shell. They have a polyester, insulated lining and adjustable rear leg straps and chest straps

CalfWise Field Guide.  This highly regarded in-field book is for use in the calf shed and summarises the key dimensions of calf rearing.  Now in its second edition, the book delivers the latest science as on-farm practical solutions.

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