Know How / Calving

Advice on dairy and beef calving including calving intervals and deciding the best system for your farm – block calving versus all year calving. See how to avoid calf losses and deal with issues such as prolapse and milk fever and get tips to optimise your calving set up and pens to minimise risks to people and animal.

Advice and tips

FEED AND NUTRITION

5 expert tips on dairy transition management

Good transition management is critical to the productivity and profitability of a dairy cow. It is also essential for getting the next generation of the milking herd off to the…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

3 cattle handling kit options to stay safe at calving

Long hours, a lack of sleep, busy workloads and extra handling of livestock make calving a particularly risky time of year for farm staff. In addition, handling stock with protective…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

How to manage calves unable to suckle due to 'squinty jaw'

Vets and farmers have been collaborating across the UK to unravel a frustrating calving conundrum that can render up to 15% of calves unable to suck their dams. Otherwise healthy…

CALVING

5 calf deformities, causes and what to do

Calf deformities at birth are caused by a wide range of issues, including physical, nutritional, infectious, and genetic. Some remain a mystery. Alex Roberts, from Garston Veterinary Group in the…

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Case studies

FEED AND NUTRITION

How low-K silage has improved cow health at transition

Feeding low-potassium silage to autumn-calving cows during the transition period has helped a Carmarthenshire dairy farmer cut the incidence of milk fever to 5% from a peak of 20%. Iwan…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Two autumn calvers compare calf housing options

Block-calving dairy farmers need sufficient accommodation to house large number of calves in a short number of weeks, with their options ranging from temporary structures such as polytunnels to purpose-built…

LIVESTOCK

How a suckler farmer is achieving six-week calving

Good nutritional management, a high bull-to-cow ratio and attention to detail is enabling a Pembrokeshire suckler beef enterprise to halve its calving period from 12 weeks to six and calve…

BEEF

Four ways 800-head suckler herd managed beef crash

Adapting to cope with price volatility has allowed an 800-head suckler enterprise to be resilient over the past year. The Hull family’s spring-calving herd is farmed alongside a large sheep…

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Insights

FEED AND NUTRITION

Study shows how calcium can affect dry cow fertility

Increasing calcium in pre-calving diets can improve postpartum uterine health and fertility, a recent study has revealed. The study, which took place at the University of Illinois, examined feeding dry…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Trial shows high iodine cow diet can hinder colostrum uptake

A survey of iodine supplementation in beef herds has revealed that over supplementation pre-calving can negatively affect calves’ ability to absorb colostrum. A collaborative research project between Moredun Research Institute,…

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News

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Farm fatalities prompt warning over cattle on footpaths

Farmers turning out cattle this spring are being warned to think twice before putting cows and calves in fields with public footpaths. It follows a spate of incidents involving walkers…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Autumn calvers warned of coccidiosis risk to youngstock

Autumn calvers are being reminded about the risk of coccidiosis in young calves and encouraged to take steps to reduce risk of infection and detect the disease early. Identifying the…

CALVING

Sharp rise in calving difficulties prompts warning

Beef and dairy farmers have reported a sharp rise in calving difficulties, sparking warnings for both autumn and spring-calving herds. The increase has been blamed on ideal summer growing conditions…

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Test and reviews

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Buyer's guide to ketone testers for dairy farmers

Simple and quick tests that measure ketone levels in dairy cows are allowing farmers to act promptly with interventions to protect milk yields and herd performance. Subclinical ketosis can’t be…

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Video

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Video: How a large dairy is keeping youngstock mortality low

A large US dairy is achieving exceptionally low mortality rates of 1% in its pre-weaned calves, and hitting daily growth rates of 800g up to weaning. About 1,800 calves will…

LIVESTOCK

Rethinking cattle performance: Improving dairy beef management

Farmers heard how important milk management, health and housing strategies are to maximising calf performance at Farmers Weekly’s first Rethinking Cattle Performance workshop. The first Rethinking Cattle Performance workshops, in…

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