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

How mineral supplementation can spare spring calf pneumonia

Relying on quality forage alone to support spring-calving cows in late gestation can lead to mineral shortages and a rise in fatal bacteria pneumonia in young calves each spring.  Simple…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

7 tips on reducing your calving block to six weeks

A tight calving block is often desirable for block-calving dairy farmers due to the production, profitability, and management benefits. However, achieving this can be complex, with a number of different…

DAIRY

4 tips to optimise dairy cow fertility

Poor fertility is a vicious cycle, with fertility problems in one lactation programming further issues in the next. This is according to Professor Jo Leroy of Antwerp University, who says…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Advice on managing body condition in cattle pre-calving

Weather conditions in recent years have tended to become hotter and wetter, or hotter with drought, producing variable grazing conditions around the UK. As a result, cattle have been approaching…

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Case studies

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…

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…

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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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