Calf & Youngstock Specialist for Cornwall and Devon
A sheep farmer’s daughter from Mid Cornwall; Laura plays a large part in the sheep enterprises at home – breeding and selling pedigree Charolais and Texel sheep. Alongside this, the farm is involved in rearing beef cross dairy calves to be sold at stores.
Laura has gained almost 10 years of relief milking experience on a number of different systems from three-times a day high input to spring calving grass-based herds. Laura studied at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester and graduated with an honour’s degree in Agricultural Management with specific modules in Advanced Livestock Production.
Her studies and hands-on experience have given her a firm understanding of the end requirements of the calves in varying systems.
Sam Ashcroft of Rosehill Farm, Chorley buys in two to four-week-old dairy bred beef calves; usually Blue and Hereford crosses. They are fed 2.5-3L of Wynngold SuperNova mixed at 150g/L either end of the day through Milkbar 3-teat compartment feeders.
We have been lucky enough to experience a handful of hot dry days this Summer. On these hot days in particular our thoughts turn to the availability and uptake of water in our calf pens. The average producer waits 17 days before offering fresh drinking water to calves (Wickramasinghe, 2020).
We are currently welcoming a rocketing trade for both ewes and lambs with prices here in the South West consistently reaching 3 figures. Scanning percentages going into this lambing season have seen an average increase of 10 – 15% following the effects of the tough spring and dry summer in 2018.
Choosing a calf milk replacer (CMR) can be a minefield with so many available. The CMR market is easily divisible into two groups; whey-based powders and skim-based powders providing the two main sources of dairy protein. Choosing the right powder for your system is not only vital to the productivity of pre-weaning calves but the lifetime performance and profitability of each animal.