Know How / Beef / Youngstock management

Careful youngstock management in beef herds will help maximise heifer and bull calf performance, bring forward first-time breeding and increase margins. We have advice on newborn calf care, nutrition, breed selection, disease prevention, genetics, target growth rates and first-time breeding protocols.

Case studies

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How Co-op’s scheme keeps calves in the supply chain

Food retailer the Co-operative Group is expanding a calf scheme that integrates its dairy and beef supply chains. The scheme provides an outlet for all dairy/beef calves, including dairy bulls…


Better ventilation reduces pneumonia in calf-rearing system

Jonathan Hames switched from dairy to beef farming two years ago when the milk price crisis took its toll. Familiar with managing dairy youngstock, he changed to rearing Aberdeen Angus-cross…


High-protein calf feed cuts finishing times by one month

Embracing the North American strategy of feeding a high-protein pellet to calves has been part of a ration rethink that has knocked one month off finishing times for rose veal…


How 'Red Baldy' cattle lifted beef farm output

An upland beef enterprise is seeing productivity lift and labour fall after settling on a hybrid combination of genetics that produces easy-calving, docile cattle. Calf mortality and barren rates are…


Strict approach keeps beef herd BDV-free

A concerted effort to monitor and test for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) is keeping the virus at bay on a Cheshire beef unit, which has learned its disease lesson the…


How Harper Adams aims to maximise dairy beef growth rates

In a trial that is a first of its kind, Harper Adams University is investigating whether they can finish dairy-bred beef from forage-based diets by 20-21 months. It is hoped the…

Practical advice

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Everything you need to know about automatic calf feeders

Many dairy farmers and calf rearers are moving to automatic milk feeders to reduce labour input. We look at what kind of management they require, how to get the best…


How to minimise calf stress if weaning early

Weaning calves early to help eke out winter forage stocks is good practice but must be carefully managed to minimise stress on the young animal, according to vet Jenny Hull.…


How to tackle cryptosporidium in calves

Cryptosporidiosis is the major cause of calf scour in UK beef and dairy herds and has been identified in samples from more than 40% of diagnosed infectious diarrhoea cases. Infected…


Q&A: How to prevent and treat coccidiosis in calves

Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease usually seen in young beef and dairy calves aged between three weeks and six months. Infection is chiefly dependent on the level of challenge they…


Guide to weaning beef calves to reduce stress

Weaning can be a stressful experience for a cow and calf, breaking the maternal-offspring bond and removing milk from the calf’s diet. However, there are strategies beef producers can take…


Expert advice on creep feeding calves

Keeping a tight grip on feed costs is a priority for every beef farmer, but creep feeding suckled calves can be a good return on investment. Maximising the calf’s efficiency…



What are the benefits of milk replacer for calf rearers?

More than half of all dairy and beef farmers in Great Britain now rear their youngstock on calf milk replacer (CMR) instead of whole milk, with potential disease risks a…


Why textbook heifer growth rates may not be good enough

Dairying experts at home and abroad are questioning whether units are achieving heifer growth targets of 0.7-0.8kg/day and if this gain is sufficient for the modern Holstein. Concerted efforts to…


Is bigger better when it comes to cow size?

Finding the right sized cow to suit the system is key to suckler productivity. Farmers Weekly analyses whether bigger or smaller cows are best. A growing number of farms are…


Pneumonia in calves: Pin down the cause and prevent it

Bacteria that cause pneumonia are fairly widespread and can live in a calf’s respiratory tract without causing disease. In the final part of this series, Caroline Stocks looks at what…


Pneumonia in calves: How farmers can cut the risk

The aim of Farmers Weekly’s new series is to help farmers reduce the costs of pneumonia
in calves. Caroline Stocks sets the scene with 
a look at the results of an…