Dairy Event 2010: Farmers warned not to ignore dairy bull calves

Black-and-white dairy bull calves may be worth significantly less than dairy heifers, but it doesn’t mean the attention in the first few hours of life should be any less, said EBLEX’s senior regional manager for the northern region, Clive Brown, at the Dairy Event and Livestock Show.

“Money can still be made from dairy bull calves, but ensuring they receive colostrum in the first six hours of life is important to ensure their defence against disease in the future.”

He added that producing quality calves was important for reputation. “When calves are sold on and they do well it is likely the buyer will acquire calves from that farm again.”

However, although beef prices may have dropped in the last couple of months due to excess cattle in the market, Mr Brown urged rearers of black-and-white bull calves not to get out. “Rearers need to look further forward as next year will be likely to see a better trade due to supply and demand.”

• For more from the Dairy Event and Livestock Show click here.