Women learn science of calving

There was plenty of interest in the Women in Dairy Discussion Group (West) calf rearing session.

The West Gippsland Women in Dairy Discussion Group recently enjoyed a fun and informative day talking about rearing healthy calves.
The theme of the event at Baw Baw Skills Centre was ‘colostrum is queen’ with calves needing high quality colostrum as soon as possible – and plenty of it!
GippsDairy workplace co-ordinator Leah Maslen said local veterinarian Tim Luke, who facilitated the day, stressed just how important colostrum management is to raising long-term healthy animals.
“The message was, get the basics of colostrum management right,” she said.
“It is really important to get colostrum into calves in the first two to six hours.
“Tim said the traditional practice of leaving calves on cows meant farmers didn’t know how much colostrum they were getting, with research saying that 60 per cent of calves left on the mother don’t get enough colostrum.”
Apart from adequate colostrum, Leah said the building blocks of a healthy calf were:
• Pre-calving care of cows;
• Minimising contact with manure and swift removal from calving area;
• Taking care with stock handling and moving;
• Effective cleaning of all calf feeding equipment and housing.
Leah encouraged women in the dairy industry to come along to future events being held.
“This was a great day for learning more about a very important part of the farm business, as well as connecting with other women in the industry,” she said.
For more information on Women in Dairy Discussion Groups in the area, contact Leah on 5624 3900 or leah@gippsdairy.com.au.
For more information on calf rearing visit www.dairyaustralia.com.au.

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