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


4 must-dos for transition cow management

The three weeks before and after calving are important times for cows. The dairy cow is more vulnerable and her metabolic needs increase dramatically. Get the transition right and you…


How to prevent and treat common problems at calving

For suckler farmers, income for the year is dependent on a successful calf crop, so keeping cows as healthy as possible at calving time is critical to ensure each animal…


Fertility advice for autumn-calving dairy herds

Practising farm vet Dave Gilbert, who has 13 years’ experience working with block-calving herds, says the first steps are working out when you want to start, how long you want…


4 steps to ensure heifers are on track to calve at 24 months

We all need to build more resilient businesses in this tough world of market volatility and the starting point on all dairy farms is the birth of the calf. What…

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Case studies


How a high-welfare calf unit fine tunes health and nutrition

Cousins Dominic and Stephen Isgar farm in partnership with their fathers at Dengrove Farm – a mixed arable/cattle unit near Shaftesbury, Dorset. The farm rears more than 800 calves a…


How a Yorkshire suckler herd is achieving 96% calves weaned

An easy-calving herd is making light work of outdoor calving on a Pennine hill farm, with calf mortality at 1% in recent years and minimal assistance. The Hallos family, from…


How a Charolais herd is improving its maternal traits

Investing in easy-calving bulls has brought significant gains in the maternal figures of the pedigree Charolais herd at Falleninch Farm, Stirling, with their self-replacing index lifting by 9.8 index points…


US dairyman reveals calving protocols at his 2,800-cow dairy

Implementing strict calving protocols has helped US dairy farmer Don Niles reduce stillbirths from 24% to less than 2% on his 2,800-cow dairy. The vet, who is now co-owner and…

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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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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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