Leah vaccinating calves

Setting and following a program for your calves helps build a healthy and well-grown group of replacement heifers. This includes good diet planning and monitoring of weights and preventative health treatments.

At Franklin Vets, we are happy to help you develop a healthy calf program, tailored to meet your farming and animal health needs.

Pre-weaned calf services

  • CALF WOF and disease prevention

On-farm review of calf management including day one management, feeding, shed setup and management. Can be used prior to calf rearing season to check farm setup and systems, train new staff or investigate disease outbreaks. Read more...

  • Calf Disease Prevention

Calf disease prevention part 1 – colostrum & feeding management.

Calf disease prevention part 2 – shed setup, flow, cleaning & disinfection with Dr Danielle Thomson, Branch Manager Paeroa Vets.

Calf Nutrition
  • Anybody who’s been through a scours outbreak can tell you it’s one of the worst experiences in farming. Scours outbreaks happen when calves ingest too many scours-causing pathogens for their immune system to fight off. But preparing now, you can reduce your chances of having a scours outbreak next season. We recommend Rotavec Vaccination to prevent calf scours. Read more ...
  • Antibodies are essential for a healthy immune system. Calves receive no antibodies from their dam while in the womb. They are entirely reliant on absorbing antibodies from the colostrum feeds in the first 12 hours to get the immunity to fight off diseases and infections. Those with low antibody levels are twice as likely to die as those with adequate levels. Calves need 2 litres of good quality colostrum within the first 6-12 hours of birth. Read more...
  • MultiMin is a combination trace element injection of copper, zinc, selenium and manganese which has been designed for use in achieving this goal. A significant amount of trial work has been done showing that during periods of stress and immune suppression, the use of Multimin can reduce disease. Research done in New Zealand has shown that the use of MultiMin can have dramatic effects on the amount of disease seen in newborn calves.  Read more...

Calf Nutrition

  • We recommend Sprayfo Blue as a Calf milk replacer. (CMR) Read more...
  • We recommend Nourish Calf Meal , which is formulated with essential, quality ingredients to develop healthy functioning ruminants. Nourish includes:
    • Assisting skeletal growth, vascular and muscle development, strong immunity and strong healthy rumen with enhanced surface area
    • High starch level, the primary driver of rumen development
    • Full macro, trace element and vitamin profile
    • Antioxidants for enhanced microbial development and to protect delicate membranes
    • Amino acids for muscle growth
    • Enzymes to enhance starch and fibre digestion
    • 100% goodness, no fillers or binders. Read a testimonial from one of our satisfied clients
  • Once the replacement calves have all arrived, their next milestone is weaning. While it may be tempting to get this done as soon as possible there are a few key things to keep in mind. Read more... 

Calf debudding

Veterinary technician service for calves 2-6 weeks old, under sedation with local anaesthetic and long-acting pain-relief. Read more...

Watch how stress-free debudding under sedation is.

Vet techs Caitlyn Neilsen & Jeneane Malan from our Taupiri clinic take you through the new laws requiring local anaesthetic with calf disbudding, plus the benefits of sedation and pain relief. If you have any questions, please call your local Franklin Vets clinic.

Vet Tech weighing heifers

Heifer weighing health plan services

Weighing is an important tool to guide the timing of weaning and decisions to move calves to grazing properties. We suggest 110kg as the recommended minimum arrival weight at grazing if you expect your calves to have a good chance of performing well on pasture and forage supplements. Hitting growth rate targets over winter can be challenging and continuing meal feeding for longer may be beneficial for autumn calves, especially later born/lighter animals until they reach 130kg.

Like we monitor milk dockets for changes in production in the herd, monitoring of calf weights should be ongoing to allow early action when liveweight and growth rate targets are not met.

Franklin Vets offers a range of heifer services to cover weighing and animal health requirements:

  • Heifer Health Plus – you still take care of your grazing and Franklin Vets create and manage an annual customised plan to suit your requirements at a set weekly per head rate
  • Heifer Health – a customised animal health plan with key live weight targets and calendar to provide reminders to carry out key events
  • Technician weighing service – weighing, reporting and Minda entry
  • Entry of weight data to Minda Weights.

Related articles written by our Vets:

  • The importance of monitoring of calf weights to allow early action when liveweight and growth rate targets are not met. Read more...
  • Weaning transition & coccidia control.
  • Healthy calves = well-grown replacement heifers.
  • Quality nutrition for youngstock
  • Nourish - Delivering better heifers into our dairy herds. Read more...
  • Clostridial vaccines.
  • BVD testing calves at debudding time.
  • BVD testing of calves at grazing.
  • Copper deficiency in young stock.

Facial eczema prevention. Dr Jordan Lay, Farm Vet at Franklin Vets Taupiri discusses the options for facial eczema prevention.


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