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Exploring Options for Surplus Dairy Males

12 September 2012
EBLEX

UK - Producing beef from surplus pure dairy-bred male calves is the subject of a new EBLEX Better Returns Programme manual launched at the Livestock Event last week.

Better Returns from Pure Dairy-Bred Male Calves looks at the different options available to beef farmers for surplus dairy males, including veal production and extensive and intensive bull and steer beef production systems. The new manual gives producers a useful overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of system, along with helpful hints on potential health issues and guidance on preparing and selecting animals for slaughter.

“Pure dairy-bred male calves can be a useful option for beef farmers, however there is a fine line between profit and loss when it comes to finishing black and white bulls and steers,” said EBLEX senior livestock scientist Dr Mary Vickers.

“The way pure dairy-bred beef cattle can be managed is wide and varied, and there is a system to suit almost every farming enterprise.

“As with any livestock farming enterprise, it is wise to secure a market and carry out budgets to check financial feasibility before starting, then monitor performance and pay great attention to detail as the animals grow.”

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