Dale Byre, Ballinamallard - Dairy Farmer
Case Study: Transformed Calf Rearing
Dale Byre approximately 150 cows and heifers mainly throughout the winter months, meaning a significant number of replacement heifer calves being housed without any real rest periods. This constant flow of calves was leading to a build-up of diseases such as scour and pneumonia resulting in high treatment costs, reduced calf performance and more labour changes were needed.
Lots of research has been done on ventilation and best practice when it comes to rearing calves and the advantages and disadvantages of the different options available:
- A new purpose built shed which is expensive and may not solve the problem
- Calf rearing igloos: spread may not give enough calves at any stage to make full use of them and also with larger batches, this could promote the same problems that need to be solved.
- Single calf hutches: can mean more time involved as each calf is and individual
Dale Byre decided to purchase cubicles, mattresses and calving gates from Teemore Engineering. On large farms in the USA, they almost all use single hutches and these guys cannot afford to get It wrong.