Getting started

Calf rearing starts with having the right person rearing the calves. The right person is someone who has empathy with the calves, has excellent observation skills and enjoys the job, rather than someone who sees it as another chore that they have to do. Planning, observational skills and attention to detail often makes the difference between happy healthy calves and sick calves. Well reared calves are more productive as older animals both in terms of growth and milking performance. Good facilities are essential for young calves – sheds need to be dry and draft free but well ventilated at a high level to avoid respiratory diseases. Calf sheds with plastic roofs have useful features- the sunlight reduces the level of pathogen in the shed and they are cheap to construct. Calves need to have adequate space and access to clean drinking water.

NZ Calf Rearing - Getting started