Know How / Youngstock management

Get advice on rearing youngstock, whether that’s lambs, calves or piglets, including housing, nutrition and weaning. See how to deal with health issues such as calf pneumonia, calf scours and watery mouth. Find out how to hit growth rate targets and explore first time breeding protocols.

Case studies

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How Co-op’s scheme keeps calves in the supply chain

Food retailer the Co-operative Group is expanding a calf scheme that integrates its dairy and beef supply chains. The scheme provides an outlet for all dairy/beef calves, including dairy bulls…


How one farm is achieving 96% calving in 6 weeks

A tight calving period is a key driver of profit on any block calving dairy unit, enabling farmers to make the most out of labour and drive other efficiencies. One spring-calving…


4 ways a Worcs farmer has made indoor lambing easier

A decade ago, Sam Jones from Brookhouse Farm, Redditch, Worcestershire, used to run 2,000 North of England Mules alongside his arable enterprise before he made the decision to cut his…


Better ventilation reduces pneumonia in calf-rearing system

Jonathan Hames switched from dairy to beef farming two years ago when the milk price crisis took its toll. Familiar with managing dairy youngstock, he changed to rearing Aberdeen Angus-cross…


High-protein calf feed cuts finishing times by one month

Embracing the North American strategy of feeding a high-protein pellet to calves has been part of a ration rethink that has knocked one month off finishing times for rose veal…


Monitoring growth and vaccination helps farmer cut pneumonia

Vet Alex Cooper of Fenton Vets says monitoring calf growth rates flagged up pneumonia issues early, allowing prompt action to be taken on his client’s farm in Pembrokeshire. Calf Tracker,…

Practical advice

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How to minimise calf stress if weaning early

Weaning calves early to help eke out winter forage stocks is good practice but must be carefully managed to minimise stress on the young animal, according to vet Jenny Hull.…


How to tackle cryptosporidium in calves

Cryptosporidiosis is the major cause of calf scour in UK beef and dairy herds and has been identified in samples from more than 40% of diagnosed infectious diarrhoea cases. Infected…


Complete guide to feeding newborn heifers

The first few hours of a calf’s life determine how that animal will go on to perform throughout its lifetime.   Calving by two years old is now deemed a…


Q&A: How to prevent and treat coccidiosis in calves

Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease usually seen in young beef and dairy calves aged between three weeks and six months. Infection is chiefly dependent on the level of challenge they…


Guide to weaning beef calves to reduce stress

Weaning can be a stressful experience for a cow and calf, breaking the maternal-offspring bond and removing milk from the calf’s diet. However, there are strategies beef producers can take…


5 key steps for ewe and lamb management at weaning

With prolonged cold weather holding back grass growth in many regions, early weaning of lambs could be beneficial to ewe condition this spring. Research and industry advice mostly agrees on…



What are the benefits of milk replacer for calf rearers?

More than half of all dairy and beef farmers in Great Britain now rear their youngstock on calf milk replacer (CMR) instead of whole milk, with potential disease risks a…


Why textbook heifer growth rates may not be good enough

Dairying experts at home and abroad are questioning whether units are achieving heifer growth targets of 0.7-0.8kg/day and if this gain is sufficient for the modern Holstein. Concerted efforts to…


Weaning lambs early could offer big benefits, trial shows

Early weaned lambs can grow as fast – if not – faster than their unweaned equivalents when fed legume-based forages. Research by New Zealand’s Massey University has found with the right…


Is bigger better when it comes to cow size?

Finding the right sized cow to suit the system is key to suckler productivity. Farmers Weekly analyses whether bigger or smaller cows are best. A growing number of farms are…


Pneumonia in calves: Pin down the cause and prevent it

Bacteria that cause pneumonia are fairly widespread and can live in a calf’s respiratory tract without causing disease. In the final part of this series, Caroline Stocks looks at what…


Pneumonia in calves: How farmers can cut the risk

The aim of Farmers Weekly’s new series is to help farmers reduce the costs of pneumonia
in calves. Caroline Stocks sets the scene with 
a look at the results of an…