Jess joined as a Wynnstay Calf Specialist in January 2017 having previously worked at Walford college teaching Agriculture. Before that Jess worked at a large veterinary practice in Shropshire as a Veterinary Technician specialising in embryo transfer.
Jess studied for four years at Harper Adams University where she completed a degree in Animal Health (BSc). During her placement year, she worked as a herdsman and calf rearer on a dairy farm in Cheshire. She currently lives on a 400-cow spring calving dairy unit in Shropshire with her partner. Special interests include calf health and productivity.
Living south of Shrewsbury, Jess will cover the counties of North Herefordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and the North Midlands providing top class advice to farmers and promoting the sales of milk powders, calf feeds, calf machines and other calf related products in conjunction with feed and animal health sales staff and the relevant Wynnstay Stores.
Calf rearers across Wynnstay’s trading area now have an improved understanding of the important nutrition, health and hygiene practices so necessary for calves to hit optimum development and growth targets.
There has been some debate recently about the recommended level of protein we should be feeding to calves and heifers, with many of the guidelines coming from the United States on feeding calves high protein starter. It is important that we look closer to home and take the advice on rearing our heifers to suit our system, with the feedstuffs available to us for the animals, we are rearing for longevity not just yield.
Calf Starter is something that I get asked about daily, whether its coarse mix vs pellets vs nuts, intakes or what’s “best” for calves. So, here’s a breakdown of the current guidelines and recommendations.
A hot topic among many farmers and vets is the issue of Mycoplasma. With New Zealand enforcing an aggressive culling policy on infected cows it raises the questions; do we know enough about it? Are we being proactive? So it goes without saying that prevention is better than a cure, especially when discussing calf health and performance.
From its launch in September 2018, ELIXIR - the first in a category of Energised Calf Milk replacers – has continued to receive extremely positive Farmer feedback on how well the calves look, how great their appetite is and how content the calves appear to be.
At UK Dairy Day last week Wynnstay launched the first in a category of Energised calf milk replacers: ELIXIR. Speciﬁcally formulated for optimal development, resilience to disease and improved longevity, ELIXIR is a revolution in early life nutrition.
On the first day of the trip we headed to Pickett, Wisconsin to visit Rosendale Dairy. Rosendale Dairy is an intensive dairy farm, consisting of nearly 9,000 herd of cattle. They have two 80-point rotary parlours that run side by side, each running for 23 hours per day milking on average 600 cows per hour.
Calves should have access to clean, fresh, water from birth – not only is it a legal requirement, but it drastically increases dry feed intake and is imperative to rumen development. The myth that water makes calves scour is one we do hear from time to time. Water does not make calves scour, calves need water to balance their body systems flush out toxins and help secrete excess minerals.
During my visits on farm I have found a common topic keeps popping up- staff; lack of it and lack of quality staff. Recently we found ourselves without a calf rearer on the farm and, this got me thinking; What makes a good calf rearer? What qualities should we be looking for? How can the right person improve performance of calves on the unit?