FARMING MATTERS: Smartphone app aids calf rearing

Volac calf growth app
Volac calf growth app

Technology has changed our lives in many areas - at work, at home, leisure, shopping, banking, the list is endless. Technology has also changed the face of farming, with herd records kept online, satellite navigation aiding fieldwork and special apps to assist business plans.

Now, livestock farmers have a quick and easy way of recording and monitoring individual calf growth rates against pre-set targets with the help of a new smartphone app from Volac.

Launched as a free tool available as a download from the company’s refreshed Feed for Growth website, the new calf growth app is one of an innovative range of practical resources from Volac to help farmers grow better cows.

Product manager Samantha Sampson said farmers should register at www.feedforgrowth.com and key in their growth roadmap target data – for example calf birthweight, weaning weight, age at weaning, mature bodyweight, and desired age for first calving – then download the app to get started.

She said: “The app allows you to set up different holdings and record a calf’s unique ear tag number. You then simply record an individual calf’s weight as it develops and instantly see if it is on track against your pre-set roadmap graph.”

Ms Sampson said herds can be congregated into coloured groups to help keep track of different batches of calves and each calf record contains useful areas for logging adversities and any notes, about its health for example.

She added: “The app has been created for farmers to do better by their cows and users can be confident that their data remains confidential and is not visible, collected or used by anybody.”

Volac has also refreshed its website which contains a host of practical advice, help and resources to help farmers understand exactly what their calves need.

Ms Sampson said: “How you manage a calf during the vital first few weeks of life and beyond has a significant impact on the lifetime performance of that animal.

“Consequently our aim is to provide the best package of calf milk formulas, advice and practical management tools we can to make the whole business of successful calf rearing as profitable as possible.”