Calf Rearing Essentials

Date published: 20 December 2019

“Calf Rearing Essentials” encompasses guidelines to ensure the health, nutrition and environment provided on farm can support successful calf management. This booklet will outline recommendations which can be used to inform best practice and help establish clear targets for heifer rearing.


The Agri-food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Hillsborough have a dedicated team of heifer rearing specialists who are committed to delivering research projects investigating innovative yet practical methods which support efficient heifer rearing. AFBI’s advanced facilities offer the capability to assess precise nutritional requirements enabling the development of management practices of the dairy heifer pre weaning, post weaning and during the grazing season.

Some of the AFBI heifer team research themes include:

- Understanding and enhancing the calf immune system
- Pre-wean nutrition to promote gut health and rumen development
- Early warning technologies to identify sub optimal calf health and welfare
- Energy efficiency through pre and post wean diets
- Grazing allowance and stocking rate for optimal utilization and livestock performance
- Precision feeding when housed and at grass
- Decision support tools and technologies to monitor growth and development