Calves thriving on grass and gaining an average of 1kg daily
Published 07/10/2015 | 02:30
All calves arriving on the farm are placed in quarantine for two days as unfortunately there isn't the "luxury" of knowing their immune status, explained Claire Mooney from the Teagasc Nenagh office.
During the first day of the quarantine stint they are trained to the Volac calf feeder, with half rate milk replacer and electrolytes.
On the second day, they are vaccinated and are also tagged for the calf rearing feeder before being moved on to the calf rearing shed.
"It is a 65 day programme in the calf rearing shed with access to milk replacer, ad lib meal and straw.
"After 21 days they are giving access to grass, with the main reason for this the disease pressure and it cuts down on straw usage," she explained, with the shed located close to paddocks. "Before being given access they are vaccinated for Black Leg."
The farm's Teagasc advisor Michael Daly explained the "secret" to this method was that sheds were swiftly filled rapidly in batches of 20 for the quarantine period.
Eamon O'Connell, who attends the farm from Summerhill Veterinary Clinic in Nenagh, explained all calves were treated immediately for coccidiosis or blood scour, and vaccinated for IBR, PI3 and BRSV.
"The ideal situation is that you source your calves on farm where you know what the disease status is but if you are buying calves through a mart or they are being sourced from somebody you have to basically presume that they have come into contact with pretty much anything possible," he said.