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Calf Rearing and Welfare

Healthy calves are the first step to having thriving replacements and growing animals.  Calf health depends greatly on the quality and management of the calf in early life, particularly in the first six weeks. Read on to learn how to effectively manage your calves from birth to weaning and on to successful management post-weaning.

Our calf rearing videos and Calf Rearing Manual deal with all aspects of calf rearing. See also Management of dairy beef calves and Calf-beef farm health and welfare

Calf Rearing and Calf Health (Presentation)

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Managing Colostrum Cows

Get tips and advice on managing freshly calved cows.

Managing Colostrum Cows

Managing freshly calved cows can be time consuming. In this short clip learn how you can better manage your workload during this time


Night Time Feeding = Day Time Calving

Find out how to manage the feeding of your cows to reduce night time calving

Night Time Feeding = Day Time Calving

Research has shown that restricting silage feeding during the day resulted in a 9% less night calving rate. In this short clip hear what you can do to achieve similar results..


Preparing Calving Facilities

Get your preparation for calving done early to be ready for the busy calving period

Preparing Calving Facilities

Prepare during the dry period before calving to help reduce the peak workload during calving. In this short clip learn top tips to help with the busy calving season ahead.

Welfare and Safety on Farm

Calf Rearing Manual - Welfare and Safety on Farm (PDF)

  • Animal welfare 
  • Health and safety around calving and calf facilities
Animal Welfare and Health & Safety

Animal Welfare and Health and Safety focuses on how to, and the importance of, preparing your calving and calf rearing facilities in advance of the season.

The Newborn Calf

Calf rearing manual - The Newborn Calf (PDF)

  • Introduction to calf rearing 
  • Care of the newborn calf 
  • Colostrum feeding of the newborn
The newborn calf

The Newborn Calf - Introduction to calf rearing, care of the newborn calf, colostrum feeding of the newborn

Calf Procurement and Transfer

Calf rearing manual - Calf Procurement and Transfer (PDF)

  • Sourcing the calf 
  • Transporting the calf from farm of origin 
  • Habituation to a new environment
Calf Procurement and Transfer

Calf Procurement and Transfer -Sourcing the calf, transporting the calf from farm of origin, habituation to a new environment


Milk Feeding

 Calf Rearing Manual - Milk Feeding (PDF)

  • The liquid diet 
  • Milk feeding systems and methods
  • Milk replacer feeding 
Calf Rearing: Milk Feeding

The liquid diet, milk feeding systems and methods. Milk replacer feeding, milk replacer nutritional specification


Rumen Development

Understand the development of the rumen to help transition the calf from a milk based diet to a solid feed based diet.

Calf rearing manual - Rumen Development (PDF)

  • Development of the calf digestive system 
  • Concentrate feeding and feed additives
  • The importance of water and fibre
Rumen Development

The primary objective of the calf rearing phase is to transition the calf from a milk based diet to a solid feed based diet.



Calf Housing

Calf rearing manual - Calf Accommodation (PDF)

  • Calf house management
  • Individual and group housing
  • Calf house ventilation
Calf Housing

Calves need clean dry bedding, a draught free environment. They can be reared in individual or group pens



Calf Health

Calf rearing manual - Calf Health (PDF)

  • Calf diagnosis and disease prevention 
  • Diarrhoea (scour) 
  • Pneumonia
  • Other common conditions
Calf Health

Calf diagnosis and disease prevention, diarrhoea (scour), pneumonia and other common conditions



Routine Calf Management

Calf rearing manual - Routine Calf Management Practices (PDF)

  • Tagging, castrating and disbudding calves 
  • Successful weaning of calves 
  • Monitoring calf growth and performance
Routine Calf Management Practices

Tagging, castrating and disbudding calves. The successful weaning of calves and monitoring calf growth and performance



The principles of good calf rearing

The success of a calf rearing programme depends on the stockperson’s ability to optimise the 10 principles of good calf rearing. 

10 Principles of calf rearing