The quality of beef calves upon arrival on the farm can vary greatly

Raising beef cattle

Beef calves often have an unknown history upon arrival at the beef farm. With them coming from different farms, they will have different immune status. After stressful transport and mixing, their respiration should be managed properly. The quality of beef calves upon arrival on the farm is heavily influenced by the amount of colostrum they have been fed before they arrived at the beef farm. This factor is difficult to influence by the beef farmer.

Starting beef calves

Buy good quality bull calves, be keen on low variation in weight and age. Check each beef calf for umbilical abnormalities, navel inflammation and bone fractures. Make sure there is clean and dry housing when the beef calves arrive. Rehydrate the calves with an electrolyte solution upon arrival. Give the beef calves a healthy start by supplementing them with vitamins during the first 3-5 days after arrival.


Within a group of beef calves, maternal immunity levels vary greatly but often go down between the age of 4-8 weeks. Managing respiration is important to preserve proper lung function, resulting in good growth and beef cattle performance later in life.

More about respiration


Many beef calves are already infected with pathogens causing calf scours when they arrive. This often results in outbreaks of calf diarrhoea within a few days upon arrival.

More about scours

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