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January 2016 CalfCare Events Launched

Pictured at the Launch of the January 2016 CalfCare Events were from (L to R); Back Row: Roberta McDonald, Aurivo; Billy Cronin, Dairygold; George Ramsbottom, Teagasc, Mark O’Shea, Host Farmer; ShaneMcElroy, Glanbia; Tim Morrissey and Pat Moylan, Teagasc. Front Row (L to R): Pat Cahill, Volac; Ned Loughlin, Teagasc, Kildare; Larry O’Loughlin, Regional Manager, Teagasc; Grainne O’Dwyer, AHI; Gerry Boyle, Director, Teagasc; Aileen Walsh, Tom O’Dwyer, Teagasc and Tom Downes, Lakelands Dairies.

Over one million calves will be born on Irish dairy farms before the end of April this year. Teagasc and Animal Health Ireland, in conjunction with the dairy milk processors Aurivo, Dairygold, Glanbia and Lakeland Dairies, and supported by Volac, have joined forces to organise a series of ten calf events. Each event will promote best practice in rearing and looking after calves.

Pat Cahill of Volac, sponsors of the series of events said: ‘We are delighted, once again, to continue supporting these events, which provide practical, research-backed advice for all farmers, to assist them in rearing healthy and thriving calves. With the other partner organisations, we are building on the success of previous years, bringing the events to new locations.”

Speaking at the launch of the CalfCare events, George Ramsbottom, Teagasc dairy specialist said: “Our research shows that well reared calves are more productive and profitable during their lifetime. Management practices that help include; ensuring that they receive adequate colostrum; are fed 6 litres of milk or milk replacer per day; and are weaned by weight rather than by age.”

Grainne Dwyer, Animal Health Ireland, said: “The four steps to successful calf rearing will be highlighted at these ten events. Adopting best management practices will help to prevent the introduction and spread of disease. Coccidiosis and cryptosporidium are two of the latest diseases to affect young calves. Controlling these diseases is just one of the topics to be discussed at these CalfCare events.”

“Getting the right amount of colostrum as early as possible is the secret of good calf management,” according to Rebecca Carroll of Animal Health Ireland. “Calves that get enough colostrum are less likely to get sick and will thrive better. Following the 1,2,3 rule and practising good hygiene will help to reduce the incidence of calf scour.; In the event of scour occurring, and contrary to popular opinion, milk should not be withheld.; However affected calves should receive additional electrolytes to help rehydrate and correct acidosis.”

Each of the events will focus on four topics:

  • The 1,2,3 of colostrum management;
  • Performance of calves on either milk replacer or whole milk;
  • Controlling cryptosporidium and coccidiosis in calves;
  • Streamlining the workload during the calving season. 

Ten on-farm events will take place in January in counties, Kildare, Wexford, Cork, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cavan, Limerick and Galway with each event commencing at 11am.; Details of the venues and dates are outlined below:

Monday11th January Pat & Mark O’Shea, Hallahoise, Castledermot, Co. Kildare
Tuesday 12th January John & Philip Tyndall, Templeshambo, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford
Eugene M & Eugene O Lyons, Clonloyle, Ahgabullogue, Co. Cork
Friday 15th January Michael Murphy, Banse, Kilmanagh, Co. Kilkenny
Teagasc/Dairygold Research Farm, Kilworth, Co. Cork
Tuesday 19th; January Pierce & Adrian Casey, Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford
John Fitzgerald, Newberry, Mallow, Co. Cork
Thursday 21st January Ballyhaise Agricultural College, Co. Cavan
Ger Kirby, Parkroe, Ballyneety, Co. Limerick.
Friday 22nd January John & William Donohue, Rathgorgon, Athenry, Co. Galway