The series of events, titled ‘CalfCare 2023, Back to Basics’, will be run by AHI and Teagasc while being supported by Volac Ireland in conjunction with several of the major dairy co-ops.
Calf health depends greatly on the quality and management of the calf in early life, particularly in the first six weeks. This series of events aims is to prepare farmers on how to, and the importance of best practices in calf rearing by bring it back to basics in advance of the coming season.
Una Hickey, National Sales Manager, Volac Ireland said, “We are once again delighted to team up with AHI and Teagasc to facilitate the CalfCare events for 2023. The demand for the events is growing year on year, and with topics such as calf health, welfare and nutrition up for discussion we suspect that this year will be no different.”
“A successful calf rearing season is vital for the success and profitability of farming and the topics covered in this series of CalfCare events will hopefully help farmers as they approach this important time on their farms. AHI is very pleased to be back running the on-farms events after a break of 3 years and as always, we are very grateful to the host farmers for facilitating us and to Teagasc, the dairy Coops and Volac for their support” said Grainne Dwyer, Communications Manager, AHI.
George Ramsbottom, Dairy Specialist, Teagasc said, “Teagasc is delighted to partner once again with AHI and the milk processors in the delivery of the upcoming CalfCare events. Our latest research shows that once calves are well reared on milk or milk replacer and carefully transitioned to solid feeds prior to weaning, they can be weaned at 15% of mature live weight with no impact on subsequent performance provided that their post weaning management is excellent. At the events we’ll discuss best practice in relation to the critical practices of both milk feeding and weaning.”
Each event will focus on five key areas:
1. Calf rearing key performance indicators
2. Knowing the correct calf numbers to rear in an area
3. Feeding calf milk replacer
4. Management at weaning
5. Signs of calf health
Addressed will be the key performance indicators when rearing calves and strategies to reduce mortality and morbidity.
Knowing the correct number of calves to rear in a particular shed or pen is important to calf performance. These CalfCare events will explore alternative housing for farms that have more calves than the optimum number. Additionally, the latest information will be available on calf comfort and alternative housing options.
With the growing interest in feeding calf milk replacer and a positive milk price, feeding and management of calf milk replacer will be up for discussion. There will be experts on hand to give advice on best practices while feeding milk replacer manually or through an automatic feeder.
Weaning of calves will be addressed and how to minimise the risk of summer scour syndrome, which hinders calf performance on many farms.
Calf health is widely regarded as one of the main contributors to calf performance and subsequent profitability. These CalfCare events will look to help identify signs of good calf health and educate farmers managing pain relief and vaccination programmes.
All events start at 11.00am and will take place at the following venues and dates:
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