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Best practice in calf rearing ahead of calving

Dairy Specialist, George Ramsbottom, joins Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s episode of The Dairy Edge to discuss best practice in calf rearing ahead of the upcoming calving season.

George explains that farmers must extract colostrum as soon as possible to maximise IgG content, the greater the interval between calving and first milking, the lower the IgG content. Furthermore, colostrum should be extracted from a clean cow into clean buckets as a lack of hygiene will compromise colostrum quality and efficacy.

George also gave insights into a common problem of bloat in young calves that farmers experienced in the spring of 2021. Different to bloat in mature cows, in calves bloat occurs in the abomasum or the true stomach. Early sign of bloat in calves includes calves off milk, kicking stomach, teeth grinding and salivating.

Overall, George commends dairy farmers on their care of young calves, with evidence of declining mortality levels and improved animal health of Irish calves both nationally and internationally.

For more episodes go to the Dairy Edge podcast show page

The Dairy Edge is a co-production with LastCastMedia.com