Gearóid’s Farming Week: Welcoming New Calves To Farm Life

Patrick Bolger

| Cattle & Dairy

| Mar 21, 2017

Calves in shed

Like many farms around the country, Farm life is hectic with many new arrivals putting added pressure on both the housing and slurry storage facilities.

Luckily our local contractor was around Saturday to spread some loads of slurry with the ray gun which was well needed as the tank was near capacity. When agitating the tank we always make sure the shed is empty, this meant a few makeshift pins were needed around the yard for the cattle. 

Calf Rearing

Over the last few weeks, we have bought in six whitehead bucket fed calves (5 bulls and one heifer). We aim to buy all of our calves off the same farm to minimise the risk of

 Introducing the White head calves to Farm life

picking up any diseases. We also like to get them as old as we can with all calves bought been a month or older.

They are now receiving 3 litres morning and evening of Triple A Maverick and also have access to calf crunch and some hay. Three of the calves bought needed an extra hand getting used to the blue teat feeder as they were sucking cows but are now knocking socks off it.

Calving down the Sucklers

A change in weather is always an improvement to farm life An improvement in the weather recently means last year’s Sucklers can come out

The sucklers are calving down with no problems so far. This is down to cows having access to pre-calving mineral lick buckets. As well as this, we are giving cows a shot of growvite about a month away from calving, which has also resulted in no retained cleanings.

With the arrival of newborn calves, alternative arrangements had to be made for the autumn born calves.  They had been in the shed with their mothers all Winter but with the newborn calves coming into the pen we didn’t want to be mixing the two different age groups.

This resulted in the autumn born calves being separated from the cows, put into a pin with straw bedding and allowed suck twice a day, they are also getting a bit of meal.  After a few days of bawling the cows and calves have settled well into the routine.

With the improvement in the weather over the last few days, we will start looking into getting out last year’s suckler calves, places are still soft but a few good days of drying will tell a lot.

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