Thursday, 11 July 2024 08:55

Planning with farm team to reduce stress at calving

Written by  Staff Reporters
Calving is one of the busiest times of the year on the farm. Calving is one of the busiest times of the year on the farm.

Planning and preparing for calving with your farm team will reduce stress when calving is in full swing, and will help keep everyone safe and healthy.

Calving is one of the busiest times of the year. Spend time with your team prior to calving to create a plan that works for everyone and the results will follow.

Ensure you have everything you need prior to calving to help reduce stress, keep you on track from the get-go, and to create better outcomes for your team and animals.

To get your team onboard and performing at their best they need to:

  • Understand what you are trying to achieve and why
  • Understand what is expected of the
  • Feel respected and valued
  • Have time to recharge so they can maintain productivity on farm

Some simple suggestions to help build the platform for successful calving.

  1. Get your team involved - Make sure they know why you do things, how you'll do it together and what you are trying to achieve. Also, work with them to identify injury risk areas on your farm and potential solutions
  2. Make sure your roster is achievable - Making sure staff have adequate and regular time off to rest and recharge, helps to prevent fatigue which can lead to mistakes or compromise health and safety. If casual or relief staff are part of your plan, make sure you have access to them when you need them.
  3. Discuss and plan any upskilling your team members will need - his includes introducing new staff to your systems and processes.
  4. Ensure all appropriate PPE and tools are available for your team - this includes having the right footwear for the job with good grip, support and comfort. Also think about the best equipment to use for calf pickup, and for transferring heavy loads of milk and feed to calves.
  5. Make sure the whole team is eating wellensure everyone has 3 nutritious meals a day and access to snacks to maintain energy levels.
  6. Share what goes through your head as a manager - create a list of items you need for calving, and daily/weekly tasks to be completed, so everyone can help achieve them.
  7. Hold regular team meetings - five-minute stand-up meetings are most useful at this time of year so that everyone gets the same message and any minor frustrations can be dealt with. Use a simple agenda of ‘what happened yesterday’ and ‘what’s happening today.
  8. Work as a team and lead by example.
  9. Watch for signs of stress and fatiguethis includes yourself and in your staff. If you do notice any stress or fatigue, be proactive in dealing with it.
  10. Keep timesheets for all employees – it is good practice and you can reflect on them later to plan for next season
  11. Keep talking, coaching and providing feedback- celebrate success.

Article - DairyNZ

More like this

Explore calving conditions when winter grazing

Planning to calve in the right conditions is essential for cow and calf health. Avoid calving in muddy conditions to decrease the risk of death and infections for both the cow and the calf.

'Let's not chase rainbows'

Farmers with experience and breeding knowledge are deeply concerned about the pressure to breed for low methane sheep traits and its effects on other important traits they have been pursuing over the last 100 years.

Featured

Red tape 'blocking access to crop production products'

Outgoing chief executive of Horticulture New Zealand, Nadine Tunley has taken a swipe at government agencies for the “costly and lengthy regulatory approval process” to get new crop protection products registered.

Farmers back ACT MP's bill

ACT MP and Northland dairy farmer Mark Cameron is lodging a new member’s bill that would prevent regional and district councils from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

National

Cream of the crop

One of New Zealand's largest dairy farmers won the 2024 'Food, Beverage and Fibre Producer' award at the NZ Primary…

Machinery & Products

Revamped automatic calf feeder

JFC Agri, the family-owned manufacturer of agricultural products from Galway, Ireland, used Fieldays to launch its innovative Evolution range of…

ErgoPOD set for 2025 farm debut

Waikato Milking Systems has unveiled the final production version of its ErgoPOD, a state-of-the-art semi-robotic technology designed to increase milking…

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

100-year-old milk powder

OPINION: A 100-year-old sample of milk powder from Ernest Shackletons’ first solo expedition to Antarctica has been analysed by scientists.

Farmer feedback

OPINION: Sticking with the NZ Primary Industries Summit, Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell’s quip about the milk price has been…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter