Contract Calf and Weanling Rearing
What is contract calf and weanling rearing?
There is growing interest in contract arrangements between farmers to rear calves and weanlings. With growing dairy herds, many dairy farmers are now beginning to encounter difficulties in sourcing high quality skilled labour.
The lack of available lands to lease/purchase and in cases limited or inadequate calf/heifer rearing facilities, is leading to more dairy farmers looking to outsource the rearing of calves and weanlings through contract rearing agreements.
What makes contract rearing attractive to dairy farmers?
In removing bull calves from the dairy herd at 10+ days of age from the dairy farm, it removes the need for additional facilities and labour requirement to deal with these animals.
Once the calves are weaned, they will will remain on the contract rearer’s holding for an additional period for further rearing. The length of this additional period is agreed between the animal owner and the contract rearer in advance.
What makes contract weanling rearing attractive to rearers?
During the rearing period the animal owner pays an agreed fee per head, per day, to the contract rearer and the animal owner retains ownership of the animals at the end of the rearing period.
What information is available?
Teagasc in conjunction with Diarmaid Ó Catháin, Solicitor; Ben Roche, Collaborative Farming Consultant and Gordon Peppard, Teagasc Collaborative Farming Specialist have developed a contract calf and weanling rearing template agreement.
This template agreement outlines that the calves once weaned will remain on the contract rearer’s holding for an additional period for further rearing.
View it here: Contract Calf and Weanling Rearing Agreement (PDF)