Care for calves
Healthy cows and healthy calves having good lives are the pride and joy of every dairy farmer. Just like the cows, the calves are provided the best possible care. Unlike people, a newborn calf has quite a low natural resistance. Therefore a dairy farmer pays a lot of attention to proper care for the calf, in which hygiene, good feed and prevention of animal diseases have priority.
All calves are given colostrum, the first milk from the cow full of important nutrients, to give the calves a good start and to quickly build up their resistance. The caretaker of the calves continuously monitors how much the animals drink and if they are growing well.
Based on the information from the KalfOK programme the dairy farmers can further optimise their care for the calves. Dairy farms with a good KalfOK score are rewarded for their performance with an allowance through the Foqus planet programme. In this way FrieslandCampina stimulates its member dairy farmers to continuously improve.
All dairy farmers have an interest in healthy animals with a high level of well-being. Despite all care and attention, it may happen that a calf is not strong enough and dies. All dairy farms of FrieslandCampina have insight into the calf mortality rate of their farm. If this is too high, the dairy farmer is obliged to draw up an improvement plan in cooperation with the veterinarian in order to bring down the calf mortality rate. Additionally, there is a check list for healthy calves available to the dairy farms. The check list and the format for the improvement plan have been drawn up together with the Koninklijke Maatschappij voor Diergeneeskunde (KNMvD) [Royal Society for Veterinary Medicine] in order to ensure that the proper actions are taken.