Teagasc and Animal Health Ireland, in conjunction with dairy milk processors, Aurivo, Dairygold, Glanbia and Lakeland Dairies, and supported by Volac, have joined forces to organise a series of 10 calf events this month.
Over one-million calves will be born on Irish dairy farms before the end of April this year, according to the event organisers. Each event will promote best practice in rearing and looking after calves.
Speaking at the launch of the CalfCare events, George Ramsbottom, Teagasc dairy specialist, said: “Our 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 six litres of milk or milk replacer per day; and are weaned by weight rather than by age.”
Grainne Dwyer, Animal Health Ireland, said: “The four steps to successful calf rearing will be highlighted at these 10 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.”
Pat Cahill of Volac, sponsors of the series of events, said: "We are delighted, once again, to continue supporting these events, which provide practical, research-backed advice for all farmers, to assist them in rearing healthy and thriving calves. With the other partner organisations, we are building on the success of previous years, bringing the events to new locations.”
“Getting the right amount of colostrum as early as possible is the secret of good calf management,” according to Rebecca Carroll of Animal Health Ireland. “Calves that get enough colostrum are less likely to get sick and will thrive better. Following the 1,2,3 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.”
Each of the events will focus on four topics:
- The 1,2,3 of colostrum management;
- Performance of calves on either milk replacer or whole milk;
- Controlling cryptosporidium and coccidiosis in calves;
- Streamlining the workload during the calving season.
Ten on-farm events will take place in January in counties, Kildare, Wexford, Cork, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cavan, Limerick and Galway, with each event commencing at 11am. Details of the venues and dates are outlined below.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Venue: Pat and Mark O’Shea, Hallahoise, Castledermot, Co Kildare
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Venue: John and Philip Tyndall, Templeshambo, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford
Venue: Eugene M and Eugene O Lyons, Clonloyle, Ahgabullogue, Co Cork
Friday, January 15, 2016
Venue: Michael Murphy, Banse, Kilmanagh, Co Kilkenny
Venue: Teagasc/Dairygold Research Farm, Kilworth, Co Cork
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Venue: Pierce and Adrian Casey, Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford
Venue: John Fitzgerald, Newberry, Mallow, Co Cork
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Venue: Ballyhaise Agricultural College, Co Cavan
Venue: Ger Kirby, Parkroe, Ballyneety, Co Limerick
Friday, January 22, 2016
Venue: John and William Donohue, Rathgorgon, Athenry, Co Galway