Youngstock management products new to market

Youngstock will be a prominent feature at this year’s Livestock Event with live calf rearing demonstration’s taking place. Here’s a look at some of the youngstock new products being launched at the event.

Mini swinging brush for youngstock

mini brush

Delaval will be showcasing a mini swinging brush for calves and adult goats in a live demonstration at the event.

See also: Latest news from Livestock Event 2015

The mini swinging brush MSB is a smaller version of the cow brush SCB and has been adapted for calves of 3-12 months old and adult goats. Brushes allow stock to clean and free themselves of itches while offering entertainment.

The new mini brush is free swinging and moves in all direction so the animal can decide how it would like to be groomed. A unique sensor ensure the brush is only switched on when it is in use. The mini brush can be installed on post or wall and can be adjusted in height as stock grow.

For more information visit the Calf Rearing Demonstration area.

Calf rearing takes centre stage

Calf rearing and maximising early growth rates to calve in at 24 months is the focus of several programmes being launched at this year’s event.

The move by four dairy companies follows research that shows the milk feeding period has a significant impact on a heifer’s future performance, with high milk feeding rates needed to maximise growth rates. Getting calves grown and ready to calve in at 24 months is also crucial in reducing costs and maximising longevity and productivity. There is also a need to cut youngstock losses.

Trouw Nutrition’s new Lifestart Programme sets out best practice calf rearing. The programme looks at different protocols with a focus on the role of milk replacer in achieving growth rates. The company has developed a specific milk powder formulation matrix to identify replacers that can be fed at higher levels. As a result, they will be incorporating the Lifestart logo on to different milk replacer products available through Trouw distributors to show they are endorsed and able to be fed at high levels.

Volac will also be launching its Feed For Growth initiative (FFG) which is focused on the milk feeding period. FFG is based around a range of educational and practical materials looking at health, environment and nutrition. The materials are aimed at helping farmers set targets for their farms, maximise milk feeding programmes and measure and record.

MSD Animal Health’s Keeping Britain’s Youngstock Healthy initiative is aimed at reducing youngstock losses and boosting performance. The initiative is supported by an educational website, which includes practical videos and resources. The programme will also include training and diagnostic tools for vets.

Cargill will also be showcasing its Nurture Calf and Heifer Programme. Delivered through Cargill’s customers and compounders, trained individuals will be able to undertake an on farm audit to assess and provide recommendations on how to improve rearing from birth to calving.

For more information, visit the Livestock Event.

Ad lib milk warming system

A new milk warming system which heats cold milk on demand allows calves, lambs and goat kids to receive an ad-lib supply of warm milk.

Heatwave Milkwarmer from Pyron Products is a once a day system, says the company’s Alan Dickson.

“It allows you to prepare a bulk reservoir of cold milk once daily. The milk is heated just before being delivered to the teat, allowing the calf to access warm milk on multiple occasions during the day,” he explains.

The Heatwave Milkwarmer costs £385 + VAT and plugs into a normal main electric plug with each unit feeding four teats and up to 30 calves. The system includes two lines, so milk replacer could be fed down one line and whole milk down the other, if required.

The design avoids hygiene issues associated with pools of warm milking sitting all day as the milk is heated to 39C on demand. It also avoids issues surrounding intake and performance drops linked to cold ad lib systems in the winter months.

Mr Dickson says the ad lib system also helps deliver the high volumes of milk needed to achieve maximum growth rates in heifers, which has been shown to translate into better performance in lactation. Putting bull calves on the system can also boost growth rates.

Find out more on the Wynnstay stand AH100.

DairyCo releases herd genetic youngstock report

Dairy farmers will be able to evaluate the genetic potential of their replacements thanks to help from a new report.

The Herd Genetic Youngstock report from DairyCo allows farmers to assess and compare genetic potential of all animals prior to service allowing strategic breeding decisions to be made at the earliest opportunity.

The Youngstock report follows on from the existing DairyCo Herd Genetic Report which is available to all farmers who milk record and gives the genetic potential of all milking cows on the farm.

As part of the new Youngstock report, individual animals are initially displayed by  (profitable lifetime index (PLI) value, but can then be reranked by individual traits, explains Andy Dodd, DairyCo extension officer.

“Filters will also be added to allow farmers to select specific groups of animals prior to mating. For example, you can just looking at bulling animals,” he says.

They’ll also be a column highlighting those youngstock that have been genomically tested, providing a more accurate prediction of their strengths and weaknesses. All of the information can be dropped into an Excel spreadsheet for further analysis.

For more information, visit the DairyCo stand AH116.

Milk Kart range introduced

milk cart

A Milk Kart range has been developed to help farmers transport, mix and deliver milk for calf feeding.

The Milk Kart range from JFC is made up of a variety of different sizes and specifications of hand pushed kart. The basic Kart is just for milk transportation, with the mid range also able to either mix or pump milk. The top specification, has the ability to both mix and pump milk.

Each model is available in either 125 litre or 170 litre sizes. The 12V pump has a flow rate of 27 litres a minutes and includes a digital display to show how many litres have been dispensed.

The models which include a pump have a 60 minute battery life. Prices start at £325 up to £1,600.

For more information go to or visit stand OS353.

Remote monitoring calf computerised feeding system

calfmom image

Farmers will now be able to remotely monitor and manage their calves nutrition thanks to a new software system.

Volac’s Urban CalfMom LifeStart computerised feeding system enables milk quality, temperature, time and speed of drinking for each calf to be downloaded on a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

The feeding system itself will also include a touchscreen which will carry all calf information and enable farmers to operate, and if necessary remotely adjust the feeding system.

Jackie Bradley from Volac says the system allows the farmer to get an everyday health check of their calves.

“All data is recorded and if any healthy check is failing, an alert will be sent to the farmer via text message,” she explains.

“New technology is enabling producers to operate their farming systems at the height of efficiency wherever they are – both on farm and remotely.

“CalfMom LifeStart is one such product which will help them to ensure there is no slippage, that their calves reach daily liveweight gain targets and are sufficiently well grown to enter the milking herd at 23-25 months.”

Find out more on stand FF213 and in the calf rearing demonstration area.