A series of 10 ‘CalfCare’ events are scheduled for January, as an estimated 1.3 million calves are set to be born on Irish dairy farms in 2018.

According to Teagasc, the number of calves born on Irish dairy farms has increased by almost 300,000 over the past decade.

In addition, improving dairy herd fertility is resulting in a more concentrated calving season, it added.

With this in mind, Teagasc and Animal Health Ireland (AHI) in conjunction with the dairy milk processors – Arrabawn, Aurivo, Centenary, Dairygold, Glanbia, Kerry Agribusiness, Lakeland Dairies and Tipperary Co-op – and supported by Volac, have joined forces to organise a series of 10 CalfCare events.

Commenting on the series, the CEO of AHI, David Graham, said: “This is the sixth year of organising the events and interest continues to grow each year.

“I would sincerely like to thank all the host farmers for agreeing to host the events on their farms. Without this cooperation and assistance, it would not be possible to hold these events.”


L-R: Tom O’Dwyer, Teagasc; Billy Cronin, Dairygold; Pat Cahill, Volac; and Grainne Dwyer, Animal Health Ireland

Teagasc officials outlined that “further improvement in the standard of calf rearing is essential”.

Dr. Tom O’Dwyer, from Teagasc, said: “With specialisation and expansion in dairying continuing to occur, more calves will be sold at an earlier age from dairy farms.

All newborn calves should receive the same high standard of management around calving time, whether they remain on-farm or are sold shortly afterwards.

Last year’s events reportedly attracted over 2,200 farmers.

Each of the events, which are all scheduled to start at 11:00am, will focus on four topics:

  • Johne’s disease control in a young calf;
  • Disinfection of calf housing and equipment;
  • An update on calf housing specifications;
  • Saving labour during the calving season.

CalfCare events scheduled for January 2018