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Managing ruminant livestock on a smaller piece of land can be more challenging than on a larger block when it gets dry and pasture quality and quantity starts to decline. Larger farms are typically better equipped to take delivery of bulk loads of high fibre feeds (such as palm kernel), which can be used to […]

My experience developing dairy farms and working as a young-stock manager has convinced me that we invest in our future by taking our young-stock through the weaning process well. Replacement heifers and bull producers that are about to wean off milk need to have these calves healthy and growing well before the decision to wean […]

With summer not too far away, facial eczema prevention is once again front of mind for many livestock producers. While facial eczema has traditionally been considered a North Island issue with only small areas of the South Island affected, elevated temperatures across the country have led to a wider distribution of facial eczema cases. New […]

Once the threat of metabolic issues around calving has passed, it can be easy to overlook the need for supplementing major mineral levels in the milking cow’s diet. Not balancing the mineral content of diets can be a false economy, which jeopardises both the health and productivity of stock. The use of straights (commodity purchased […]

The banning of inductions has focused attention on a shortened mating period to prevent a prolonged calving season. A reduced mating period has inevitably increased empty rates – mating cows with a 53 percent conception rate for only 10 weeks as opposed to 13 weeks will tend to double empty rates with all things being […]

When the milk pay-out dropped in the 2015/2016 season, a lot of cow’s milk was fed to calves and farmers reported that they struggled post-weaning off milk. There are several ways to avoid a post-weaning slump after milk has been removed from the calf diet: Limit long fibre intakes of young calves when housed. In […]

With the pressure of calving and the start of a new season, in-calf rates and improving herd fertility are not topics that make it to the top of the list of priorities at this time of the year – but they should be, as many of the decisions made and actions taken at this time […]

A key focus of the calf rearing period is to stimulate the rumen to start growing and developing prior to weaning off milk. Nutritious and health-supporting milk and a good quality starter feed are key components of a successful calf rearing system and can help take some of the stress and risk out of calf […]

Weaning is the process of transferring a calf from a liquid milk diet to a completely ‘solid’ based diet. Successful weaning is dependent on ensuring that a calf’s digestive system is well set up for processing bulky high fibre pasture and the decisions you make in the pre-weaning period can have a significant impact on […]