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Calf & Youngstock

Research in the USA

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.

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Weaning - Myth Busting

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.

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Elevated Milk Feeding has the Potential to Effect End Carcass

Recent years have seen research turn toward calf rearing and capitalising on the genetic potential of the animal; with a particular focus on dairy calves.

There is limited information on feeding and rearing beef calves, with even less on how feeding calves can impact finishing age and carcass quality. We are now beginning to see supermarket requirements for beef changing, with a greater demand for uniform cuts, and as farmers we invest so much at the finishing stage to meet these requirements.

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Measure to Monitor

Reduced calving age from one year to the next may suggest improved calf and heifer rearing; however it is months later when we can make these assumptions. If a heifer is first served at 18 months old, it can be assumed that there are improvements to be made to allow future heifers to reach service weight earlier. But it is difficult at this point to then determine at which stage of rearing that this heifer didn’t meet her targets and fell behind.

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One Team - Gold Dream

A recent study tour took the Wynngold calf team out to Milwaukee, America in early April to the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association conference. Although I was impressed with how the Americans farm (it’s not very often I set foot outside of Wales), I do feel that us Brits are doing a fantastic job back home whilst working under much more stringent regulations.

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