Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 March 2018

Calving the correct way

John Mee

Tips to give your newborn calves the best start in life

With the calving season about to start, now is the time to prepare for the busy months ahead. Every year many farmers have major problems with hard calvings and weak or dead calves at birth.

A 5pc mortality rate in calves around birth constitutes an estimated €15million national loss across dairy and suckler farms. In order to address these issues, Animal Health Ireland recently set up a Technical Working Group on Calf Health.

One of the main issues this group is focusing on at this time of the year is management of calving.

For the first few calvings that you have to assist, there is no harm in taking part in a refresher course on what to do and, more importantly, what not to do. The photographs here illustrate important points and good calving technique.

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