One million calves to be born here by end of April

More than one million calves will be born on Irish dairy farms before the end of April, with resulting challenges for farmers to ensure that the animals thrive.

Teagasc and Animal Health Ireland, in conjunction with the dairy milk processors Aurivo, Dairygold, Glanbia and Lakeland Dairies, and supported by Volac, have joined forces to organise a series of 10 events to promote best practice in rearing and looking after calves.

Teagasc dairy specialist George Ramsbottom said its research shows that well-reared calves are more productive and profitable during their lifetime.

Grainne Dwyer, Animal Health Ireland, said steps to successful calf rearing will be highlighted at the 10 on-farm events which begin next Monday.

Adopting best management practices will help to prevent the introduction and spread of disease.

Controlling these diseases is just one of the topics that will be discussed, she said.

Rebecca Carroll, also of Animal Health Ireland, said calves that get enough colostrum are less likely to get sick.

Volac’s Pat Cahill said it provides practical, research-backed advice for all farmers, to assist them in rearing healthy and thriving calves.

The on-farm events will take place in January in counties, Kildare, Wexford, Cork, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cavan, Limerick and Galway.

Each will start at 11am. Munster locations are the farms of Eugene M and Eugene O Lyons, Clonloyle, Aghabullogue, Co Cork (Jan 12); Teagasc/Dairygold Research Farm, Kilworth, Co Cork (Jan 15); Pierce and Adrian Casey, Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford, and John Fitzgerald, Newberry, Mallow, Co Cork (Jan 19); Ger Kirby, Parkroe, Ballyneety, Co Limerick (Jan 21).


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