Calves are the dairy cows of the future. Successful calf rearing gives a lot of benefits: less environmental impact, lower costs and a more sustainable dairy cow. To make good calf rearing possible for every farmer, HAS University of Applied Science started, together with Vetvice, FrieslandCampina Nutrifeed, MSD Animal Health, VDK products and Agrifirm the Dutch project 'Blueprint calf rearing'.
An optimal calf rearing is an investment for the future. Reason enough to have a closer look at this upmost important period in the life of a cow. Successful calf rearing is the result of working smart and disciplined in ideal circumstances. This requieres knowledge. The multiannual project 'Blueprint calf rearing' aims to better calf rearing in dairy management by developing and testing a blue print with best practices, usable for dairy managers and the advising sector.
Two year research into stages of life calf
The project consists of an applied research into practical use of scientific insights on best calf rearing. Students of HAS University of Applied Science, location Den Bosch, will be doing research for two years into the various stages of life of calves, from birth to calving heifer. During each stage there will be looked at housing, climate, feeding, hygiene, animal welfare management and labour.
Draft blueprint tested and refined
The research will be done based on a draft of the blueprint that students created with help of advisors of the participating partners. The draft will be tested and refined during the research. Students will take inventory of and analize the current working methods of participating farmers and then formulate suiting advices in consultation with the farmer.
Publication of results
The results of the research - the blueprint with best practices - will be bundled and made available to (dairy) farmers and advisors in the agricultural sector. The project runs from 2016 till the beginning of 2019.
Jan Hulsen, founder, author and trainer of CowSignals partipates in this project on behalf of Vetvice.