This demonstration was prepared by George Stilwell
The research innovation (RI) “Scoring vitality in new born calves” was presented in France, Portugal, Estonia and Belgium. Furthermore, there was an international webinar held on this topic. In Portugal an on-farm demonstration was organized by Faculdade De Medicina Veterinaria (FMV) of Universidade de Lisboa (ULisboa) and Associação de Criadores de Bovinos Mertolengos (ACMB) for 10 farmers and 10 practitioners in a commercial suckler farm. A thorough examination was performed on two new-born calves and vitality score was performed using different scales and methods. Farmers were asked to perform an examination of the calf considering the topics and signs described in vitality check-card. An App produced by Wisconsin University was presented and used on the two calves.
As a result, veterinarians and farmers agreed that such an evaluation of calves is useful. For the veterinarians, the examination is already part of their normal work, but for the farmers, the participants also recommended a routine examination of the calves. This is because the cost is low, apart from the time involved. And knowing how to assess a calf and its need for additional help was seen beneficial. However, it was also interjected that a certain routine is needed.