Rearing Calves the right way to support better health

Disease protection, especially against pneumonia, is key to animal health and welfare. Caring for livestock is vital.

We operate high health status calf units through a network of dedicated calf rearers that are all committed to improving the health of the animals in their care.


Focussed on Health

Since the Blade operation started over 20 years ago the focus has been on reducing health issues on the units by operating a herd health plan with Westpoint Farm Vets. On all Blade Farming’s dedicated rearing units, calves get an intranasal pneumonia vaccine on arrival against the two viruses most commonly associated with pneumonia in very young calves.

Shortly before calves leave the rearing unit, they undergo a further two-course vaccination against the same two viruses. This system reduces the amount of medicines required throughout the lifetime of the animal and reduces production costs for beef finishers.

Each unit also has a specific health plan that is reviewed every six months with our rearers and vets. The calf units have standard operating procedures in the format of a rearing protocol which gives the team a plan to work to. Alongside great stockmanship, this is our recipe for success in the calf rearing units.

The calves leave the rearing units with a full health history so that the beef finisher knows the history of the animal and is able to follow the health plan into the finishing phase.


Working In Partnership

Gamechanger calf rearers benefit from working in partnership with our Blade Farming team, feed suppliers, veterinary advisors and customers. The rearing regime, based on a 12-week cycle, has been developed in consultation with veterinary surgeons and ruminant nutritional consultants to ensure maximum calf growth rates. It will also minimise the health challenges for the growing calves. Calves regularly achieve growth rates in excess of 1kg daily live-weight gain. Calves are reared to order and are grown to a minimum of 100kgs live-weight before they are sold to finishers.