While calving may be just kicking off on dairy farms over the next couple of weeks, already the Thrive dairy calf to beef programme farmers are making plans for calf arrival.

This year, the programme aims to rear over 500 calves across all the farms.

Each of the farms have outlined the number of calves they require, breeds, sex and the date they are ready to take in stock.

Beef calves from the dairy herd will not come on stream in significant numbers until late February or the first week of March.

However, having these things outlined in good time allows the farmers to plan every detail of both calf arrival and calf rearing.

Put a plan in place

If you source your calves from the same herds each year, it may be a good idea to have a chat with the dairy farmer in the coming days about the season ahead.

Once calving kicks off, dairy farmers will have a lot less time to talk and plan these things out.

Getting an idea of the date and number of calves that each farm will potentially have gives the calf rearer a headstart on planning for arrival.

There are usually sheds to be washed, bedding to source and equipment to have sorted for calf arrivals, all of which can be better prepared for once a potential arrival date is in the diary.

Keep up to date with the Thrive programme throughout spring, where we will bring you the latest news from all of the programme farms in relation to calf rearing.

Are you interested in joining the Thrive programme?

The programme is currently recruiting dairy beef farmers for this year.

If you are, or are considering, running a dairy calf to beef enterprise on your farm, the Thrive programme could be for you.

The benefits of being involved include:

  • Calves of known genetics from AI sires sourced for your farm.
  • Access to the latest technical information with regards to dairy calf to beef systems.
  • Team member of Industry leading initiative.
  • One to one specialist advice.
  • Herd health planning.
  • Performance analysis.
  • Access to group information.
  • Grass measurement training.
  • For further information or to express your interest, contact programme manager Declan Marren on 087-752 9282 or email dmarren@farmersjournal.ie.