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The solution to your bobby calf troubles

Glenn Taylor from New Zealand strives to minimize the number of bobby calves in his dairy herd. Danish Blue beef genetics go a long way in doing so.

Glenn and Sheree Taylor work 320 cows on a 134-hectare farm in Drummond, Southland, New Zealand. Southland has both environmental and legislative challenges, and the Taylors focus on creating good sustainable farming practices.

Like many dairy farmers, one of the key areas of concern for the Taylors is the wastage and perception of bobby calves. Due to this, Glenn strives to reduce bobby calf numbers. His goal is to take what would have been a waste product and use it to create a valuable beef animal that can go on to add value to New Zealand's beef supply chain.

Glenn Taylor VikingBeef

Easy, on-cue calving

The earliest focus for the Taylors was to use the Danish Blue’s short gestation traits to tighten their calving period and gain more valuable days in milk. And, right on cue, the calves have been consistently short, giving them both more days in milk and a tighter calving period.

However, a common initial concern is around ease of calving, but according to the couple, the Danish Blue has been phenomenal in this respect too – Glenn hasn't had to pull a single one.

"We have used a variety of beef in the past to try to reduce bobby numbers and our Danish Blues have outperformed previous crops of calves from other breeds,” explains Glenn. “In our last autumn calving, we didn't have to pull a single one, the Danish Blues are vigorous and take to the feeders, unlike any other breed we have seen before,” he adds.

Glenn Taylor VikingBeef

VikingBeef - The solution to bobby calves

Glenn Taylor from New Zealand strives to minimize the number of bobby calves in his dairy herd. Danish Blue beef genetics go a long way in doing so.

Value added all around

Keeping bobby calves at a minimum not only drives profitability but also improves the perception of the dairy industry. By using value-added beef on his dairy herd, Glenn is also getting a better market to sell the calves, with beef farmers becoming more and more interested in the Danish Blues.

Additionally, Glenn believes that as farming regulations become more rigorous, the next generation of farmers will have to achieve higher yields with fewer emissions. Beef on dairy can offer farmers significant help towards achieving this, and other future-friendly farming goals.

“As we go forward into a more efficient future, traditional beef farming will shift from one cow and one calf to raising high-quality dairy beef animals,” says Glenn. “It will come down to Kg of meat per hectare and beef on dairy is one direction we can head here in New Zealand,” he ends.

For more insights into the Danish Blue breed, listen to our episode of The BreedCast on the benefits of Beef on Dairy.

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Glenn Taylor VikingBeef

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