Taking stress out of calving

Calving can be a stressful time for farmers which is why DairyNZ is holding two StockSense events in the Bay of Plenty to help farmers prepare for the calving season.

The events on June 12 in Edgecumbe and July 2 at Reporoa, are among 19 to be held throughout the country.

Caring for calves is the focus of the StockSense events.

The events are split into two workshops –one for junior staff and one for senior staff – with each workshop focusing on developing skills to help the calving season go well and reduce stress.

Humane slaughter on-farm and udder health will be the focus of the senior level workshop.

DairyNZ’s animal husbandry and welfare team manager, Chris Leach, says the humane slaughter topic is particularly timely due to the expected change in the animal welfare code and the implications for farmers.

“Farmers need to understand what’s expected of them,” says Chris.

The senior workshop will also focus on actions owners and managers can take to reduce stress for themselves and their teams, to help calving go smoothly.

“The workshop will provide tips and tricks to stay healthy during the busy period. Being prepared and staying healthy eases stress and will make for an easier spring,” says Chris.

The junior workshop ‘get ready for calving’ provides hands-on training for junior or new staff.

“Participants will learn to identify the signs of calving, stages of labour, normal and abnormal calf presentation and when to call for help,” says Chris.

“By the end of the session participants will know how to handle newborns safely, the importance of feeding colostrum and how and why to record calvings.

“Even those who have grown up on a farm or worked for a season or two will benefit from the junior workshop,” says Chris. “This is an event that builds competence and confidence for the whole farm team – from the farm assistant to the farm manager.”

North Island events will run from 10am-2pm. All events include a free barbecue lunch. Participant numbers are limited and farmers must register online at dairynz.co.nz/stocksense or phone 0800 4 DAIRYNZ (0800 4 324 7969).


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