CALF rearing represents a major investment for Mark Burton of Bowfield Farm, Barnard Castle.
Mark farmed a pure Angus cow suckler herd and started rearing a few dairy bred Angus heifers as cow replacements. Three years ago this enthusiasm led him to start rearing calves for PJL with a batch of 20 AA bull calves. He now rears over 1000 a year. Alongside his calf rearing enterprise Mark also farms 450 ewes at Bowfield Farm which is 800 feet above sea level.
To accommodate the large throughput of calves Mark has put up a new shed where calves are reared conventionally in pens of 4 for 2/3 weeks and then moved to larger groups of 8 until weaning when they are put into batches of 15/20 depending on size. Carrs Billington supply a specifically formulated whey based milk powder, starter pellets and rearing nuts and rations are reviewed monthly by their nutritionalist.
Calves coming into rear at 3/4 weeks are injected with Rispoval 4 and Bravoxin 10 and receive a booster 3/4 weeks later. Calves are wormed with Dectomax pour on at weaning and spot-on depending on the season. Calves coming out of rear at about 12 weeks of age are fit and healthy and will average approximately 170 kgs.
Mark’s attention to detail in the rearing of these calves has a major impact on their future productivity and profitability.
Expansion – New calf rearing shed well under way under way
Top: Mark helped by his 10 year old son Josh