The annual Animal Health Ireland (AHI) and Teagasc CalfCare events will take place again this January, on farms across the country.

Titled ‘Calf Rearing for Tomorrow’s Herd’, the series of twelve events will be run by AHI and Teagasc while being supported by Volac Ireland in conjunction with several of the major dairy co-ops.

Good calf health is the basis of long-term profitability on farms, and these annual calf events serve to assist in protecting and enhancing the profitability of farm businesses.

Una Hickey, national sales manager, Volac Ireland said: “We are delighted to be supporting the CalfCare events again for 2022. Every year interest in these events is growing and the information being shared is timely and informative as farmers prepare for the calving season.”

“Animal Health Ireland is very pleased to be working with Teagasc and the dairy co-ops again in the running of these CalfCare events,” said Grainne Dwyer, communications manager, AHI.

“I feel this year’s programme will be of particular interest to farmers as they approach this very important time on their farms.

“I would like to say a special word of thanks to all our host farmers for allowing us onto their farms, and Volac for their continued help and support.”

George Ramsbottom, dairy specialist, Teagasc said: “The appetite among farmers to succeed at rearing calves successfully is reflected in the attendance we’ve seen at the events over the past decade.

“This interest has translated into the higher survival rates and reduced level of disease observed in young calves on Irish farms.”

What will the CalfCare events cover?

Each event will focus on four key areas:

  1. The impact of housing design and use on calf health;
  2. The importance of colostrum quality;
  3. Understanding and reducing the risk of bloat in calves;
  4. Pain management in calf rearing with a focus on disbudding.

The impact of housing design on calf health is significant and the three important aspects of calf housing will be discussed by addressing stocking density, drainage and cold stress.

While the 1,2,3 of colostrum feeding is well known at this stage, other related matters such as hygienic collection and storage can be overlooked. These CalfCare events will look to address these topics that can significantly impact the quality of colostrum.

Additionally, the latest information on bloat in calves will be made available with advice on minimising the problem in young calves.

High standards of calf welfare are essential for our industry. Pain management is an important aspect of calf welfare and these events will disseminate information on the best use of anaesthesia and analgesia in routine calf management practices.

With such quality information up for discussion at these events, strong attendance is expected. In the interest of public health and protecting one another, the wearing of masks at these events is compulsory.

The events may be subject to change or cancellation pending Covid-19 public health advice.

All events start at 11.00a.m and will take place at the following venues and dates:

January 10DairygoldWillian Health, Ballyshonin, Berrings, Co. Cork P12 H213
January 12Dairygold/Kerry AgriPierce Breen, Newtown, Pallasgreen, Co. Limerick, V94 667T
January 13Glanbia/CentenaryBrendan Joyce, The Islands, Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny, E41 Y303
January 14GlanbiaJohn Cheasty, Fennor, Tramore, Co. Waterford, X91 VF95
January 17Kerry Agri/North Cork/DairygoldDenis O’Donoghue, Bolomore, Rathcoole, Mallow, Co. Cork, P51 R582
January 18Arrabawn Co-opOlivia Harding, Tombricane, Borrisokane, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, E45 PW84
January 19GlanbiaJohn Roche, Ballyedmond, Hacketstown, Co. Carlow, R93 WE1N
January 20Kerry AgriSalesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry, Co. Limerick, V94 X991
January 21Tipperary Co-opJohn, Charlotte and John G Croke, Croguemore, Tipperary, Co. Tipperary, E34 EH05
January 24Lakeland Dairies/GlanbiaEoin Corrigan, Batterstown House, Trim, Co. Meath, C15 HHF2
January 25Lakeland DairiesEugene and James Cunningham, Corlea, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan, A82 HX82
January 27AurivoRobin Stevenson, Farm View, Cloughcor, Killygordon, Lifford, Co. Donegal, F93 XF6N

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