Calf Rearing

Calf Rearing

Course Code BAG207
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Payment Options Upfront & Payment Plans
Delivery Online & Correspondence
Duration 100 Hours

Calf Rearing BAG207

This popular course gives students the opportunity to learn the principles of beef cattle management, breeding and production. While no one course can be expected to deal in comprehensive detail with all aspects of the beef industry, this course provides a detailed overview of the necessary subject matter for students who are already in the industry or those who are new to the industry. Elements such as nutrition, production, reproduction, and disease recognition, control and treatment, are dealt with in detail.

Beef Cattle Courses are again in strong demand thanks to the recent trade deal with China.

Challenging conditions have plagued the Beef Cattle Farming industry over the past five years. Varying weather patterns, fluctuating turnoff rates and government policies have influenced industry performance over the period. Industry revenue is forecast to decline by 1.4% annualised over the five years through 2014-15. However, strong demand for Australian cattle and beef in export markets is expected to boost the industry over the two years through 2014-15. Industry revenue is forecast to grow by 25.6% in 2014-15, to reach $5.5 billion, boosted by a 19.1% jump in saleyard prices.

Rainfall is the primary determinant of industry performance. Beef cattle farmers have suffered through varying weather conditions over the past five years have positioned Operators in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to dominate the industry.

The nature of beef cattle farming varies across the country, but occurs in all Australian states and territories. The industry is typically discussed according to regions (northern and southern) since operations differ dramatically across the two.

Course Aim:

To help students to analyse and make informed decisions about the management requirements of beef cattle. On completion of this course you should be able to describe and explain the principles and practices of beef cattle husbandry and management.

Breeding calves is only the start of an involved process that farmers follow in raising a calf. This course provides a very good foundation for understanding that whole process.

  1. Calving and Culling
  2. Introduction
  • Research into raising dairy calves
  • Principles of good calf rearing
  • Pre-calving management
  • Managing the cow for a healthy calf
  • Colostrum management
  • Calf selection
  • Estimated Breeding Value (EBV)
  • Culling
  • Assessing calves for suitability in a rearing system
    1. Calving Management
    2. The birth of a calf
    • Signs that the birth is close
    • Stages in a normal birth
    • Calving problems
    • Important points
    • Abnormal presentations
    • The calf at birth
    • Colostrum
    • Stress and pathogen exposure
    • Managing stress
    • Managing pathogen exposure
    • The calf digestive tract
    • Rumen development
    • Bacteria
    • Liquid in the rumen
    • Outflows of rumen materials
    • Absorptive qualities
    • Substrate (Dry feed Intake)
    1. Calf Health Management
    2. Overview
    • Common calf diseases
    • Scours
    • Coccidiosis
    • Round Worm Scours
    • Lung worm
    • Calf diphtheria
    • Pneumonia
    • Clostridial Disease
    • salmonella
    • Navel and joint ill
    • Stress and the young calf
    • Transport stress
    • Feeding stress
    • Heat and cold
    1. Calf Rearing Systems
    2. Birth to weaning
    • Natural Systems of Calf Rearing
    • Single suckling
    • Multiple suckling
    • Foster suckling
    • Race suckling
    • Early weaning
    • Artificial systems of calf rearing
    • Teaching the calf to drink
    • A basic Feeding program
    • Milk Substitute
    • Common calf rearing systems
    • Rearing calves at grass
    • Five and a half day system
    • Once a day system
    • Cold milk system
    • Acidified milk replacer
    • Mildly acidic milk replacer
    • Strongly acidic milk replacer
    • Milk-fed veal production
    1. Calf Housing
    2. Ventilation
    • Isolation
    • Comfort
    • Economy
    • Calf Pens
    • Metal crates
    • The calf hutch
    1. Weaning
    2. Stress at weaning
    • General weaning transition strategies
    • Providing water
    • Weaning at twelve and eight weeks
    • Weaning at five weeks
    • Weaning at four weeks
    1. Post-weaning
    2. Post weaning period
    • Calf husbandry practices
    • Reducing surgical stress
    • Cattle identification
    • Castration
    • Bloodless castration
    • Surgical Castration
    • Dehorning
    • When to dehorn
    • Dehorning instruments and equipment
    • Tetanus
    • Vaccination and Worming

Select calves for specified purposes, including dairy stock, and breeding stock.

  • Explain the methods of managing calving operations on a farm.
  • Explain the diagnosis of common health problems which may occur in calves.
  • Explain different techniques of calf rearing.
  • Explain the housing requirements of calves in an animal production situation.
  • Explain the procedures for weaning calves in an commercial situation.
  • Explain the post-weaning requirements of calves, in a commercial situation.

 Explain the phenotype factors related to the selection of calves.

  • Explain the genotype factors related to the selection of calves.
  • Write a checklist of criteria for selecting calves for dairying.
  • Explain how breeding can assist in obtaining calves for three different specified purposes.
  • Describe the different stages in the normal birth of a calf.
  • Explain the process of calving, in response to either observations of a calf being born, or the viewing of a video of a calf being born.
  • Explain at least five problems that can occur during calving, on a typical property in the learner's locality.
  • Analyse two case studies of problematic calving incidents.
  • List at least four methods for over-coming specified calving problems.
  • List the common health problems which can occur with calves in the learner's locality.
  • Describe the symptoms of at least three common calf diseases, including scouring.
  • Explain the possible effects of stress on a calf.
  • Explain an appropriate treatment for at least three common calf diseases, including scouring.
  • Develop guidelines for stock culling, for a specified property.
  • Analyse data in a case study in order to diagnose the health problems of a calf.
  • Report on an examination of the condition of a calf inspected by the learner.
  • Describe calf husbandry techniques observed by the learner, including:
    • Earmarking
    • Castration
    • Dehorning
    • Branding
    • Tattooing
    • Drenching
  • Compare natural calf rearing techniques with artificial calf rearing techniques.
  • Determine the appropriate method of calf rearing for a specified property.
  • List the criteria which need to be satisfied in the design of calf housing facilities, in the learner's locality.
  • Compare the suitability of different building materials for calf housing facilities, in different climates.
  • Analyse calf housing facilities on a specified property in order to determine the appropriateness of their design.
  • Prepare a design for a calf housing facility, including:
    • A sketch/concept plan
    • A description of materials
    • An estimate of cost
  • Explain the stages of weaning a calf on a property with which the learner is familiar.
  • List the possible problems which may arise in weaning calves.
  • Recommend suitable treatments for the weaning problems.
  • Explain the stages of post weaning for a normal calf on a property with which the learner is familiar.
  • List the problems which may arise with calves during the post-weaning period.
  • Explain any variations that may be applied to the procedure of post-weaning a calf.

For more information on this course, please request your free course information pack.


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If you are an Irish citizen you may be eligible to receive financial support, meaning you can defer payment of your course fees. Additionally, if you are a resident of Ireland, you may also be eligible to receive a student grant under the Student Grant Scheme

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