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Farmlands’ commitment to supporting shareholders and promoting animal welfare has inspired the production of a series of videos focusing on calf feeding and management. The videos will offer something to both new and experienced calf rearers, following the calf rearing process from picking up newborn calves in the paddock through to weighing weaned calves.

Let Farmlands help you make calf rearing that little bit easier!

Part 1 - Picking up calves
Part 2 - Colostrum
Part 3 - New arrivals
Part 4 - Bobby calves
Part 5 - Animal health
Part 6 - Hygiene and housing
Part 7 - Encouraging hard feed intake
Part 8 - Feeding milk in paddocks
Part 9 - If you can measure it you can manage it

 

Part 10 - Feeding nuts and grass in the paddock
Part 11 - Meet the Rakaia team
Part 12 - Meet David 'Rabby' Fairhall
Part 13 - Buying and transporting calves
Part 14 - Mixing up milk powder
Part 15 - Feeding out milk
Part 16 - Weaning, hard feed and reaching weight targets
Part 17 - Health and hygiene

 
Heifer rearing with Karen Frazer, Rakaia Island
 

Part 1 - Picking up calves
The first calf pick up of the day on Rakaia Island on a foggy spring morning. Learn the best way to handle freshly born calves and watch the treatment of a down cow.


 

Part 2 - Colostrum
Stacey and Karen introduce the ‘3 Q’s of colostrum’ and explain why colostrum quality is important for a successful calf rearing season. Watch the use of a colostrometer to differentiate between poor and high quality colostrum.



 

Part 3 - New arrivals
Follow the journey of freshly born calves as they are brought into the calf sheds and given their first feed. Learn some tips from calf rearing guru Karen on the best way to teach calves how to drink and ways to make it a less stressful experience for both the calf and the calf rearer.



 

Part 4 - Bobby calves
Learn the regulations in place in New Zealand around the treatment of bobby calves and see how Rakaia Island apply these regulations for their bobby calves.



 

Part 5 - Animal health
Scouring is the number one health issue experienced by calf rearers. Learn how to identify whether a scour is a nutritional or an infectious scour so that the best method of treatment can be put in place and get some tips on preventing and treating other animal health issues such as coccidiosis.



 

Part 6 - Hygiene and housing
Karen talks through the calf housing system on Rakaia Island and offers some tips and tricks for maintaining hygiene in calf sheds for effective prevention of diseases. 



  

Part 7 - Encouraging hard feed intake
Getting early intake of hard calf feed is critical for stimulating rumen development and ensuring calves are set up for a smooth weaning period when the time comes around. Learn some useful tips from Rakaia Island and see how they manage to get very early intakes of calf feed.



 

Part 8 - Feeding milk in paddocks
Karen explains the importance of sorting calves into groups of slow and fast drinkers and also offers some tips on managing calves once they are out of the sheds and more exposed to the elements.



 

Part 9 -If you can measure it you can manage it
Work through some pasture analyses with Stacey and Karen and see how calf feed can help to balance out some of the nutrient deficiencies of pasture. Also get an insight into how Rakaia Island keep track of calf weight gains.



 

Part 10 - Feeding nuts and grass in the paddocks
Watch the unique way Rakaia Island manages their weaned calves as they shape them into animals well prepared to enter the herd. See how a calf nut is fed on the ground rather than in troughs and some of the benefits this system offers.



 

Part 11 - Meet the Rakaia team
Meet some other members of the Rakaia island team and see how they get through the busy calf rearing season together with the help of comfort food and community spirit.



 

Calf rearing with David 'Rabby' Fairhill

 

Part 12 - Meet David 'Rabby' Fairhill
Meet David ‘Rabby’ Fairhall, a South Canterbury calf rearer, and learn more about his system.



 

Part 13 - Buying and transporting calves
Rabby shares some great tips on how to pick out healthy calves to bring into your system and also how to get them home in the best possible way.



 

Part 14 - Mixing up milk powder
Mixing up milk powder can be a tricky job however Rabby offers some advice on ways to make it an easier process



 

Part 15 - Feeding out milk
Feeding time is a good opportunity to check the health of calves and ensure everyone is drinking sufficiently. Learn some tips off Rabby and see how compartment feeders can help ensure that younger calves get their share of milk before they are transferred to paddock feeders.



 

Part 16 - Weaning, hard feed and reaching weight targets
It’s a good idea to make weaning decisions based on a combination of factors - Rabby explains how he uses weight and the age of calves in combination with their intake of hard feed. Stacey also talks through the importance of offering a high quality hard feed to calves and some of the benefits such as rumen development and improved calf growth. 



 

Part 17 - Health and hygiene
Rabby talks through some of the signs of a sick calf and ways to deal with health issues as well as the importance of a good quality electrolyte.