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Launch of the January 2017 CalfCare Events

The number of calves born on Irish dairy farms has increased by almost 300,000 over the past decade to an estimated 1.3 million in 2017. In addition improving dairy herd fertility is resulting in a more concentrated calving season. With this in mind, Teagasc and Animal Health Ireland in conjunction with the dairy milk processors Arrabawn, Aurivo, Carbery, Dairygold, Glanbia, Kerry Agribusiness, Lakeland Dairies and Tipperary Co-op supported by Volac, have joined forces to organise a series of thirteen CalfCare events. 

Speaking at the launch of the events, George Ramsbottom, Teagasc said, ‘Our research shows that well reared calves are more productive and profitable during their lifetime. While things are improving, only just over half of replacements born in 2013 calved at two years of age and one in five never calved. So further improvement in the standard of calf rearing is essential’.

According to Dr. Tom O’Dwyer Teagasc, ‘With specialisation and expansion in dairying continuing to occur, more calves will be sold at an earlier age from dairy farms. All newborn calves should receive the same high standard of management around calving time whether they remain on farm or are sold shortly afterwards’.

Cryptosporidium is an important disease affecting the performance of young calves. Rebecca Carroll of Animal Health Ireland said, ‘One of the topics presented at these events will focus on preventing and controlling this disease in young calves’.

Pat Cahill of Volac who are sponsoring the series of events said, ‘We are delighted to supporting the events for the fifth year in a row. They serve as a timely reminder to farmers of the important things to do around calving time. Interest in the events has been huge with last year’s events attracting over 1,600 farmers.’

Each of the events will focus on four topics: 

  • Guidelines for milk feeding to the young calf;
  • Good stockmanship – recognising the signs of health in the young calf;
  • Controlling and preventing cryptosporidiosis;
  • Anti-microbial resistance (AMR); a growing threat to animal and human health. Find out what you need to do to manage this threat.

All thirteen events start at 11.00am and will take place at the following venues and dates:

Mon 9th Sean Roberts, Ballinaboola, New Ross, Co. Wexford
Tues 10th Dick, Dermot & Helen Lanigan, Ballinurra, Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary
Cormac O’Keeffe, Courleigh, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
Fri 13th William Costigan, Ballyspellan, Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny
John Kingston, Rathmacullig, Ballygarvan, Cork
Thurs 19th Curtins Farm, Moorepark Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork
Fri 20th John, Brian & Barry Powell, Ballycrinode, Ballinaclough, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Purcell/McGlew Partnership, Kiltallagh-Rinkinstown Farm, Termonfeckin, Co. Louth
Tues 24th Philip Healy, Droumature, Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry
Matthew & John Quinlan, Cappa House, Cahir, Co. Tipperary
Wed 25th Ballyhaise Agricultural College, Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan
Thurs 26th David O’Connor, Clover Hill, Croghan, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Richard Glynn, Beechmount, Riverstown, Killucan, Co. Westmeath