Part of my training was spent on dairy products Plawhatch biodynamic farm in East Sussex. I will describe how the process was made of raising a dairy calf in the bio-dynamic. Plawhatch Ayrshire and MRI has 40 dairy cows milked twice daily in a regulated system of Demeter.
The rearing of calves and heifers
Tom Ventham the shepherd Plawhatch two years calving in spring and autumn, which he wore on the artificial insemination (AI). Tom notes that the process guarantees of pregnancy by 75% of the time (the others have served their sweeper bull Sussex). First heifers are served by the bull. Tom should get five heifers each year flock to the 40 strong hold. Aware that their average eighth lactation cows Newborn calves stay with their mothers for 1-2 weeks. After this period, they will gradually be moved into the barn to an enclosed space. The cow calves up to five additional remains of the same age in order to connect up to the herd. Puberty in heifers seven months, where a number of changes like the development of horn was clear. Heifers maintained by the bull for about 26 months. That is, they do not reveal, nine months later at the age of 3 years. His ideal weight should be about 450 kg. This provides the first lactation. newborn males are either retained in the herd of dairy cows and steers castrated or killed veal.
The food and feeding strategy
fed for the first 4 months of life the calf milk. After 2 weeks when they are separated from their mother, they were fed 2.5-liter, twice a day. After the first 2 weeks after the birth of the calf hay as part of their diet is given. In last 4 months, calves, oats, or they were born in the spring months. The calves are on the pitch when they were born in the fall of the left. The horns of calves begin “growing when they stop the milk. At this point, the calf stomach starts to its digestive properties to expand. Given in the coming months, the level of oats, a calf will be increased gradually. If heifers signs of decay, that it is a mud-rock on an ad hoc basis throughout the year. seaweeds are also sometimes included.
The social perspective
The ideal situation for heifers is to stay that they can at any time of the year outside. Because of the damp climate and the risks of land damage from poaching, they are housed in a barn for the winter months. The barns are spacious enough heifers to move comfortably.
Prevention and treatment of diseases
The general character of the barn is one of the reasons why the operation had no problems with mastitis, for it is usually caused by overcrowding and stress. Straw is updated daily. The barn has two rooms with connecting door. He troughs with hay, and the plus-side, where cows usually on their cud retirement. It is in this vast enclosure where sold the calves from their mothers gradually in cages. In this way, mothers can still access their calves when the will. The feet of the heifers, cut once a year to prevent any foot problems such as bad feet (a collection of bacteria in the nails). Deworming is by homeopathy, if ever needed done. Tom checks his heifers are trying to twice a day to see unusual behavior or signs of disease.