Calf poster gives blueprint for best practice

An educational poster on calf rearing has been released by a partnership of animal health professionals to promote best practice in youngstock management.

The Calf Health and Welfare Blueprint details all the core aspects of successful calf rearing and is part of the #Calfmatters initiative.

View the poster here

The poster’s content was decided through a peer-reviewed process by veterinarians, which included the Calf Matters Roundtable, hosted by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Features include QR codes (quick response codes) that can be scanned by QR readers on smartphones to access industry documents from research organisations and universities to benchmark your animal welfare. 

See also: How to reduce stress and disease in youngstock

What information does the poster cover?





Nutrition tips on milk, colostrum, concentrate intake




Table on milk replacer and weather conditions

Stocking rates as calves grow

Targets for colostrum quality and weight gain

Cow targets for mortality and weight at first calving

Vaccine monitoring – is temperature correct?

Supply chain metrics i.e. abattoir results, disease screening

Drugs use

Cost of production

Environmental assessment i.e. temperature and nesting

Nine steps to managing staff

Advice on how to consistently benchmark progress and hit goals

Five bespoke key performance indicators

Ten ways to cut the need to use antibiotics and improve calf resilience

Two tips on vet involvement

Seven tips on minimising stress on calves

Where can I get the poster?

What is Calf Matters?

  • Calf Matters is an industry-wide calf health campaign centred around monitoring and improving calf health on farms across the UK.
  • Based around an online hub, the website is a resource for farmers and vets keen on promoting best practice in youngstock management

This follows Boehringer Ingelheim’s Calf Matters survey, an audit of calf rearing on 395 farms in the UK and Ireland in 2018. Read more about the survey