Development of a knowledge transfer package on best practice for rearing dairy heifer calves

Aims & Objectives
The main objective is to update the most recent information on best practice management practices and performance measures to improve calf survival.

Expected Outcomes
A review on best practice recommendation on ensuring adequate colostrum intake will be made available through the DairyCo website

Produce training videos and supporting material on:

  • Colostrum management including the 3Qs (Quality, Quantity and Quickly)
  • Hygiene around colostrum management
  • Testing colostrum using a colostrometer and refractometer
  • Tube feeding colostrum
  • Monitoring growth rate (weight and height)

Deliver webinars and online presentations on best practice calf rearing strategies.

Start Date              
July 2013               

Completion Date
October 2014

Lead Delivery Partner
Royal Veterinary College - Research Partnership study 

Other Delivery Partners
University of Reading
Harper Adams University
University of Nottingham
Aberystwyth University 

AHDB Dairy

Scientific literature

Cooke, J.S and Wathes, D.C. 2014. Rearing heifer calves for optimum lifelong production. Cattle Practice. Volume 22, Part 1, p66-67

Patel, S., Gibbons, J., Wathes, D.C. 2014. Ensuring optimal colostrum transfer to new-born dairy calves. Cattle Practice. Volume 22, Part 1, p95-104

For further information please contact: or call 024 7647 8689