Workshop 1 – Dairy farmers rearing heifer replacements

24 May 2018, Shropshire

10.00 Arrival & breakfast

10.30 Introduction of the farm

11.00 Station 1: Starter & early life of the calf

Colostrum management:

  • Advice on how to test colostrum
  • Importance of the 5 Q’s
  • Role in plays in early development and how it affects calf immunity and growth

Feeding milk in the first two weeks of life:

  • Advice for transitioning onto powder and which to choose
  • How much should be fed and how often
  • Demonstration of weighing and mixing powder


  • When it should be carried out
  • Demonstration on a live calf
  • Signs to look for on if you have pneumonia and how to treat it
  • Financial impacts of respiratory disease

11.45 Station 2: Managing the calf – disease and feeding before weaning

Feeding the calf prior to weaning:

  • How much milk should be fed prior to weaning
  • Monitoring intakes: what is the calf telling you

Disease and vaccination:

  • The most common disease affecting coccidiosis and scours
  • How to prevent and treat diseases and signs to look out for
  • Step one: Can you spot the difference between the two

12.30 Station 3: Weaning and data use

New research on weaning over three weeks:

  • How to make weaning as stress free as possible
  • Stepping down milk powder

Reviewing data up to weaning

  • There’s a wealth of data you can collect but what is most cost-effective
  • Targets for weight gain up to weaning
  • Importance of weighing: how often you should do it, what it can tell you and a demonstration using a weigh band
  • How weight gain and any other data should inform your management decisions going forward

13.15 Lunch

14.15 Farmer and farm vet discussions: health and disease control

  • The benefits of having a closer working relationship with your vet
  • Taking a proactive approach to disease control
  • Why this doesn’t have to cost you more money but can help save you
  • Vet’s vaccination and testing programme

15.00 Closing remarks and departure

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