Meath man on rearing 200 Friesian bull calves to beef
David Drum rears approximately 200, February and March born Friesian bull calves.
The calves are sourced in the south by an agent working on behalf of David and are all a minimum of three to six weeks old when purchased. After arrival onto the farm they are introduced to milk replacer and built up to 750g over a couple of days.
A day after arrival, the calves receive their first shot of Bovipast RSP to protect against pneumonia and they also receive a shot of Bovilis IBR Marker live intranasally. Clostridial diseases are covered by Tribovax 10 at dehorning and again four weeks later.
The calves are reared in groups of 27, being fed on teat feeders. David recently purchased a milk cart for ease of feeding and to remove the heavy labour of feeding a large number of calves.
The calves receive three litres of milk replacer in the morning and evening. They have access to clean fresh water, straw and an 18pc calf ration at all times.
David is careful to keep a clean fresh bed of straw under the calves at all times to keep them warm, dry and free from draughts.
Calves are debudded two weeks after arrival, adhering to the veterinary recommendations of debudding at this stage.
Following a gradual weaning programme, calves are weaned off when they are 95 to 100kgs and eating at least 2kgs of meal. They are then turned out to grass from the end of May.