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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DAIRY

Purpose-built shed helps goat farm cut weaning age

Investing in a purpose-built rearing shed and adjusting kid management protocols have helped goat milk producer Will Frost to reduce age at weaning by up to two weeks. The 2019…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

How dairy farmer makes over £6/kg from Jersey bull calves

When Devonshire dairy farmer Neil Weston switched from being a flying herd to breeding his own replacements it created an unwanted boom in dairy bull calves. But after being inspired…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

How a bespoke calf barn cut antibiotic use and mortality

Switching from calf hutches to a bespoke calf rearing unit has slashed antibiotic use and is seeing zero mortality on a Canadian family farm. The Anderson family built the calf-specific…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Video: What’s In Your Livestock Shed? A high-health calf unit

Calves reared in a specific youngstock unit are growing 100g/day faster during the 20-120-day phase in early trial work. The High Health Unit (HHU) prototype has been trialled for two…

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…

ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

How a farm is lifting beef calf weaning and slaughter weights

Detailed cow and calf performance recording is part of an overall business drive to increase beef output at Hedgeley Farms, Northumberland. Over the past five years, farm manager Vicky Hogg…

Practical advice

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YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

How to troubleshoot poor lamb growth rates

Assessing lamb performance early on is essential to ensure steps can be put in place to maintain growth rates post-weaning. The AHDB sheep key performance indicators project found light lambs…

PIGS

Q&A: Advice on successful weaner pig management

At weaning, piglets experience multiple challenges, such as the stress of being taken from the sow and being mixed with other pigs. Establishing a new pecking order, getting used to…

HUSBANDRY

Tail docking lambs: Advice, legislation and methods compared

Tail docking is routinely carried out to avoid soiling of the fleece around a lamb’s rear and thus prevent fly strike - a painful condition where flies lay their eggs…

Insights

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

7 risk factors of pneumonia in calves and how to avoid them

Buying calves from multiple sources and feeding calves only once a day could be putting animals at risk of getting pneumonia, a study has found. AHDB assessed data from eight…

FEED AND NUTRITION

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…

LIVESTOCK

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…

LIVESTOCK

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…

BEEF

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…

LIVESTOCK

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…

LIVESTOCK

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…