What’s the best nutrition for the 1m dairy calves to be born in the coming months?
The Teagasc/AHI Calfcare events begin this week and each the events will focus on four topics related to calf rearing.
According to Teagasc, over 1m calves will be born on Irish dairy farms before the end of April this year.
The Calfcare events will focus on the ‘one, two, three’ of colostrum management and the performance of calves on either milk replacer or whole milk.
Controlling cryptosporidium and coccidiosis in calves and streamlining the workload during the calving season will also be covered.
There will be 10 on-farm events taking place in January in counties, Kildare, Wexford, Cork, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cavan, Limerick and Galway with each event commencing at 11am.
The Calfcare events are organised in conjunction with the dairy milk processors Aurivo, Dairygold, Glanbia and Lakeland Dairies, and supported by Volac.
Speaking at the launch of the Calfcare events, George Ramsbottom, Teagasc Dairy Specialist said that Teagasc’s research shows that well-reared calves are more productive and profitable during their lifetime.
Management practices that help include; ensuring that they receive adequate colostrum; are fed 6L of milk or milk replacer per day; and are weaned by weight rather than by age.
Grainne Dwyer, AHI, said that the four steps to successful calf rearing will be highlighted at these ten events.
“Adopting best management practices will help to prevent the introduction and spread of disease.
“Coccidiosis and cryptosporidium are two of the latest diseases to affect young calves. Controlling these diseases is just one of the topics to be discussed at these Calfcare events.”
Rebecca Carroll of AHI said that getting the right amount of colostrum as early as possible is the secret of good calf management.
“Calves that get enough colostrum are less likely to get sick and will thrive better.
“Following the one, two, three rule and practising good hygiene will help to reduce the incidence of calf scour.
“In the event of scour occurring, and contrary to popular opinion, milk should not be withheld. However affected calves should receive additional electrolytes to help rehydrate and correct acidosis.”
Details of the venues and dates are outlined below: