Rachel Usmar - Small Calf Rearing Unit - RJ Farms
Rachel grew up working on the family farm and has been involved in calf rearing for around 10 years. Two years ago Rachel designed and developed her own purpose built calf rearing unit where she now raises around 500 calves per year, split over Autumn, Spring and Summer. She buys these in at 4 days old from trusted sources and sells them on at 100kg’s as beef stock or heifer replacements. Last year Rachel tried her hand at rearing ram lambs for meat and will be rearing 250 this season for onsale.
Rachel is passionate about her calves and is determined to raise quality, healthy calves through good practices.
1. NUTRITION AND EARLY RUMEN DEVELOPMENT
- investing in a quality milk replacement
- high quality calf feed
- good clean quality hay
- clean water
- promote gut health with a probiotic
2. CALF HUSBANDRY
- attention to detail goes a long way
- same daily routine and consistency
3. CALF HOUSING
- smaller groups, less competition, minimise bullying and stress
- correct housing - dry, draft free but good ventilation and good daylight exposure
4. DISEASE AND HYGIENE MANAGEMENT
- intervening early
- walk through sheds 2 - 3 x daily in first few weeks
- disease management plan
- cleanliness of gear
Want to learn more about the Calf rearing protocols? Head to the Downloads section on the righthand side of the OptiGuard landing page for more info.