Gerallt Jones

Graianfryn, Llanfachraeth, Anglesey

Trial: New Calf Housing System at Graianfryn to improve animal welfare and reduce the use of antibiotics

 

The first two weeks of rearing calves is the most critical and when mortality rate can be high, as the calf will experience stress from moving onto a new holding, change in their living environment and a new feeding regime. 

Graianfryn, currently rears over a hundred crossbreed calves predominantly from Buitelaar group which are then sold to Morrisons or Kepak at 17-24 months depending on the breed and growth. They aim to achieve 300-330kg deadweight. Liveweight will vary on breed and age, which affects the killing out percentage.

This project aims to develop and improve the current calf rearing system at Graianfryn through design and adaptation of the existing shed coupled with modifying the calf journey towards weaning to improve animal welfare and reduce the use of antibiotics on the farm. 

Technology by The Smart Bell which is a reusable tag that collects and monitors calf movement and temperature will be used to monitor the calves throughout the duration of the project. LoRaWAN temperature and humidity sensors will also be used to monitor the environment of each individual bays to aid management decisions.

The project will also contribute to the Sustainable Land Management outcomes including:

  • clean air
  • reduce the farms’ greenhouse gas emissions
  • contribute to high herd health and welfare

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