Management Hints X JANUARY 2020 www.irishfarmersmonthly.com 64 strides in this area in recent years. Earlier, compact calving has resulted in a lot of calves X being in houses longer: requires more labour to feed and clean out houses, with the increased risk of scour and pneumonia. So, plan to move calves out to fields with grass from 2-4 weeks of age. Many farmers are doing this X successfully. X A mobile teat feeder works well when calves are outside. This can feed up over 30-50 calves at the same time. Spend money on a good one - best that milk flows to calf “LEAN” CALF REARING PREPARATIONS: rather than he having to suck it from below his level. X This involves having a plan where all the bits-and-pieces/ X Some farmers allow calves run back into open fronted requirements plus protocols (SOPs) are in place before sheds or lean-tos to acclimatise calves to the harsh the 1st cow calves. The principle must be to minimise realities of being outside. Sheds must be high and airy. the time spent walking, carrying calves or milk to calf X When outside, calves need a ‘dry-lie’ because he spends houses; while at the same time ensuring the staff know over 80% of his time lying down. Shelter is vitally exactly how to feed, manage sick calves, etc. important also. X This is a terribly labour demanding chore at a time when X To avoid spreading John’s Disease, do not batch feed dairy farmers are very, very busy. We must organise it to cows’ milk to replacement heifers, feed milk replacer reduce the labour requirement. Farmers have made great instead. It would be a good idea to test all cows individually by blood or milk to identify high risk cows. With this information you can ensure that infected cows colostrum and milk is never, ® ever fed to replacement heifer calves. X Individual pens are a good idea in smallish herds but are labour intensive due to cleaning and feeding methods. X The calf MUST, I emphasise MUST, get biestings, 3 litres, within 2-3 hrs of calving. Complementary feed for pre-weaned calves X For larger herds, batch Suitable for use in colostrum, whole milk and milk replacer calves in groups of 5 from 1-3 days, feeding from a multiple teat feeder, with 5 divisions, so that each calf only drinks Enhances gut immunity his own lot. This feeder hangs and protection on the gate and can be moved Helps to reduce use from pen to pen. Supervise of medication the feeding of these 5 calves Improves gut health so that all drink their share. Move on the fast drinkers to a and weight gain 10-15 teat feeder after 4-5 days Available in liquid leaving the slow ones behind and powdered form Contains to pick up a batch of similar ingredients Must be used drinking speed. From 2 weeks scienti cally from day 0-21 calves should get 6 litres/day, proven to control (5 for Jersey X) Crypto X Don’t over-feed calves and E. Coli during the first few weeks as we usually kill calves with kindness and not the other way round. Therefore, put this Tel: + 353 (0) 21 4507303 system in place during January www.nutribio.ie as you won’t have time in February. X Any unexpected calf deaths should be sent to the lab for analysis. If salmonella scour in calves has been a problem in the past it is almost certain you would benefit from vaccinating the cows. Consult your Vet. A common and worthwhile practice now is to employ a “night time calver”. Where herds are smallish, 2-3 farmers are joining up to make this happen. Hygiene is terribly important. CRYPTOGUARD Cryptoguard advert 126x160.indd 1 07/12/2018 14:07