Calving protocols on Irish dairy farms in the pre partum period and their effect on post partum outcomes for both dam and calf from the aspects of health and welfare
The incidence of periparturient and post partum problems are heavily influenced by the calving protocols in place at farm level on dairy farms in Ireland. The protocols that farmers employ on dairy farms can have a great influence on calving outcomes and the health of calves at the end of the season. These calving protocols were investigated through the use of two questionnaires from 20 Irish dairy farms carried out in February 2016 (the start of calving season) and the results were then correlated to a follow up questionnaire in September 2016 (the end of the same calving season). Aims of the study were to compare the calving management before calving, to the farms’ outcomes; in terms of dam and offspring health and welfare. The main aim was to correlate both sets of findings and to assess whether the most recent research supported the current practices being carried out on Irish dairy farms.