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www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
CALF REARING FOCUS
JANUARY
26
George Ramsbottom, dairy specialist, Teagasc,
outlines some of the principles of calf rearing
and highlights upcoming events that will provide
information on best practice
With the removal of milk quotas, the procedures around
newborn calf management have acquired even greater
importance because of the profound and rapid change that
is taking place in the dairy industry:
f
X
An increased number of calves born on dairy farms over
350,000 additional cows in milk in 2017 compared to 2005;
f
X
The earlier sale of calves with greater specialisation in
dairying, we expect that more calves will be sold at two to
three weeks of age;
f
X
The seasonal nature of calf births and sales on Irish dairy
farms almost three-quarters of dairy calves are born in
January, February and March.
CALF REARING REFRESHER
Thus, there is a requirement to remind farmers of best
practice in relation to calves intended to be reared on farm
as well as those destined for sale off farm. Teagasc and
Animal Health Ireland (AHI), supported by Volac, have
successfully run a series of CalfCare events each spring
for the past five years in conjunction with milk processors
throughout the country. Last year's events were attended by
over 2,000 dairy farmers. In January 2018, a further 10 events
will take place on farms throughout the country. Members
of the AHI technical working groups on calf welfare and
management, as well as Teagasc advisers and specialists, will
present at the events.
THE KEY REARING ESSENTIALS
The purpose of the events is to remind farmers of the key
essentials in the care of their calves from birth and to refresh
their skills just before the spring-calving season begins. Four
areas were identified as the key topics for the 2018 series of
walks. These topics will be addressed in some detail at the
events.
LABOUR
Calving time is when the workload peaks on dairy farms.
Night-time feeding has been shown to substantially reduce
the number of calvings taking place overnight (from
approximately 25 to 15 per cent). This needs to begin
approximately three weeks before the cows are due. Give
cows access to their forage from approximately 10.00pm
SPRING CALVING
Table : CalfCare events, January
.
Co-op
Date
Venue
Eircode
Dairygold
January 8
Teagasc Research Farm, Kilworth, Co Cork
P61 TW30
Lakeland
January 10
Edward Cooney, Tierworker, Kells, Co Meath
A82 DE76
Centenary
January 11
Rory and Mairead O'Regan, Knockroe, Thurles, Co Tipperary
E41 RY67
Glanbia
January 12
Noreen and Padraig Calanan, Raheenabrogue, Ballyroan, Co Laois
R32 K3V8
Glanbia
January 16
Kenneth and Fergal O'Brien, Knocknastooka, Grange, Co Waterford
P36 XD68
Dairygold
January 18
Liam Leahy, Bridelands, Crookstown, Co Cork
P14 R978
Tipperary
January 19
Tom and Patricia Moran, Ballygri in, Golden, Co Tipperary
E25 E337
Arrabawn
January 23
Aidan and Kathleen Treacy, Lisnacody, Eyrecourt, Ballinasloe
H53 AE36
Kerry
January 24
James and Michael Hickey, Inch St Laurence, Caherconlish, Co Limerick
V94 E9F7
Aurivo
January 25
David Henry, Roscrib House, Ballymote, Co Sligo
F56 K072
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