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Teagasc Green Acres Newsletter Issue 9

Teagasc Green Acres Newsletter Issue 9

The Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme e-Newsletter, this January, focuses on preparing for the arrival of calves on farm with a farmer update from Jarlath Ruane, Claremorris, Co. Mayo. It includes key management tips, advice on calf rearing, vaccination of dairy-beef calves and calf housing

Issue 9 - 04 January 2022

Jarlath Ruane, Claremorris, Co. Mayo

Preparations are underway for the arrival of calves this spring and we will be targeting purchasing approximately 80 calves from local farms over the coming weeks. This year’s calf team will be pretty similar to last years, compromising of a mixture of mainly Holstein Friesian, Angus and late-maturing male calves. Sourcing and maintaining a healthy calf is critical to what we are trying to do here, so a considerable amount of time will be given to ensure that the correct calf is purchased for our system and that practices are put in place at farm level so that these animals perform.


checklist imageKey Management Tips

  • Ensure calf rearing facilities are in order.
  • Contact you calf supplier to assess the availability of calves and the expected arrival date.
  • Source calves from trusted and local sources to reduce the risk of any disease setbacks.
  • Have milk replacer, concentrates, electrolytes and feeding equipment to hand before the arrival of calves.
  • Ensure calf pens are clean and are adequately bedded with straw before the arrival of calves.
  • Discuss a vaccination programme with your vet and Teagasc advisor

Calf rearing

One of the many key elements to the success of a calf-to-beef system is ensuring animals are adequately fed. It is critical that calves double their birth weight by eight weeks of age (e.g. – 40kg to 80kg in 56 days).


Vaccination for dairy-beef calves


Along with ensuring the calf is fed appropriately, the protection of health is also critical and this can be achieved through the implementation of an appropriate vaccination programme, providing cover for pneumonia, IBR and clostridial diseases.


Calf housing

Before calves begin to arrive this spring, an evaluation of the calf housing available must be completed to see if it is fit for purpose and to rectify and problems or issues that may have occurred last spring.

The Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef e-Newsletter will issue monthly and you can read it here each month on on Teagasc Daily.