The research innovation (RI) “Scoring vitality in new born calves” was presented in France, Portugal, Belgium and Estonia. Furthermore, there was an international webinar held on this topic. In Estonia an online webinar was given to a group of beef farmers. In addition to beef cattle farmers, the information day was attended by a representative of the government and other beef cattle sector parties. Participants were introduced to calf vitality scoring and were shown videos made at a farm in Estonia. The information day was facilitated by Kristi Männamets, a veterinarian from the Estonian University of Life Sciences. Prior to the online event, group meetings were held between the veterinarian, the livestock lecturer and the BovINE representative to update the calf scoring table for Estonian conditions. This table was demonstrated with a video during the webinar and for farmers who participated and also for those who did not participate, the table is available in pdf and word format in social media groups and on the Liivimaa website.

The calf vitality scoring guide developed was considered necessary and useful by beef cattle farmers. Beef cattle farmers gave feedback that they now know what to look out for at calving and when to call a vet. 96% of participants thought that a calf vitality scoring table would be helpful. 54% of participants said they would use it in their work. Beef cattle farmers who were introduced to the calf vitality scoring table found it easy to use. The calf score is generated on paper and is easy to complete. No additional technical knowledge or skills are required. When asked if there was a need to make the table virtual like a mobile app, 41% of respondents said it would be good if it was available as a mobile app. The use of a calf vitality scoring table on the farm does not require any additional costs. The main thing is the cost in time and the introduction of the use of the table. The majority of farmers would recommend this innovation to other farmers, who do not have the farm vet.

Click here to see the whole demonstration or here for more information (on Estonian)