Youngstock Services for Dairy Cattle 

Working together for better youngstock results

Your youngstock are the future of your herd. Getting it right at each step will lead to the best results. Healthy youngstock develop into well-grown heifers, ready for mating. Anexa Vets are here to help, with specific issues like calf rearing, colostrum management, parasite control or general management advice and developing a youngstock plan. Contact us today to find out how we can help give your future herd the best start.

Anexa Youngstock Services

Colostrum management advice

Colostrum management is the key to preventing disease and death in calves. Anexa vets can share their knowledge with you and provide training to ensure you are collecting, storing and feeding colostrum to give your calves the best start. We can test your colostrum at clinic and teach you how to test it.

Calf rearing

Careful planning and protocols ensure low risk of disease. We provide calf-rearing modules as part of our spring farm staff training, and can tailor training to be specific to your farm e.g. to include more hands-on training (e.g. stomach tubing) or to help with shed design and layout etc.

Calf scours investigation

We all know that prevention is better than cure but sometimes things don’t go according to plan. When an outbreak of calf scours happens on farm, we are here to help. We know how stressful this time is for everyone on farm. The key to a scours investigation is taking the correct samples from the correct animals. Our in-house laboratory provides a quick turnaround time so we can provide the best treatment and management plan to get you through the problem.

Disbudding and Tech services

Disbudding calves is one of the most painful procedures performed on-farm. All animals that require removal of horn buds or horn tissue require an appropriately placed and effective local anaesthetic nerve block. Anexa Vets recommend additional pain relief, such as a long-acting anti-inflammatory as studies have shown that using anti-inflammatories at disbudding not only reduce calf pain behaviour and stress levels, but lead to better growth rates after disbudding compared to calves that don’t receive these drugs. Find out more about our calf disbudding service here


Vaccinations are important and can help prevent serious illnesses and disease outbreaks. Ensure that vaccinations (and boosters) are given at the right time, whether your youngstock is at home or grazing, by using a specially prepared farm-specific Anexa Youngstock Plan. Remember that some animal diseases, such as leptospirosis and salmonella, are zoonotic and can cause serious disease in humans so it is in everyone’s interests to have your animals’ vaccinations up-to-date.

Worming and drenching

Anexa Vets can provide proven drenches and advice in which drench will suit your situation best. We can carry out faecal parasitology testing at our own Anexa lab to determine if drenching is needed (faecal egg counts), or to assess if your drench programme is working as it should (faecal egg count reduction test). If you need a hand drenching your stock, our techs can help with that too.

Youngstock management calendar

Keep track of your future herd with a Youngstock Plan. We’ll identify your animal health care needs including weighing, drenching, facial eczema prevention, trace element testing and vaccinations, and create an easy-to-follow plan, that you can share with your grazier, to ensure everyone is on the same page. If your stock isn’t meeting target weights we can offer follow up consults and create a plan together to get them back on track.

Weaning management advice and weighing

Successful weaning allows calves to grow to their full potential. Ensure your calves have everything in place to maximise rumen development to allow them to undergo a seamless weaning period by providing them with the best nutrition and husbandry. We provide a range of products including milk replacer and calf meal that can help your calves achieve weaning weights. Talk to us about what you we can do together for the best outcome and growth for your calves.

Grazier contract advice and planning

Good communication leads to good outcomes when you send animals away grazing. By having a suitable contract in place with your grazier, both sides know their responsibilities and expectations reducing the chances of any nasty surprises cropping up. With an Anexa Youngstock Plan for your animals (and giving a copy to your grazier) you can be confident that animal health care requirements are being taking care of at the optimum time for your stock.

Feed planning and weighing

Ensuring that there is enough feed for your animals to grow at the rate required to meet maturity and be productive is essential. Anexa Vets can create a feed budget to help you manage their requirements.


Autumn ill thrift prevention

Anexa Vets can help you create a plan to ensure your youngstock’s health, parasite control and mineral requirements are met. Autumn can offer challenges with regards to minerals, parasites and feed quality that are harder for youngstock to deal with. We can help identify these and put a plan in place to minimise the impact on overall animal health and growth rates. We also offer weighing services and feed budgeting advice. By weighing your youngstock regularly to check whether they meet growth targets, it is much easier to identify at-risk animals and make changes accordingly, maximising their future production potential.

BVD testing and vaccinations

We encourage our farmers to test for BVD when their calves are disbudded, to pick up the disease early before it affects others in the herd. Outbreaks of disease are not only time-consuming and costly, but they can also be very distressing for both farmers and their animals. Luckily, there are many vaccinations available for cattle to prevent a range of different diseases. For an individualised plan for your farm, contact your Anexa vet.

Yearling mating plan

We offer all our dairy clients a free 30-minute pre-mating consultation. As part of this, we will discuss with you the elements needed for a successful heifer mating (e.g. vaccinations, bull power, synchrony programmes & AI) so you can be sure you have everything ready for mating.

Facial eczema and mineral testing

Youngstock are vulnerable to facial eczema. Facial eczema causes liver disease which can lead to painful photosensitization (sunburn and peeling skin) and death, so we want to do everything possible to prevent it. The only reliable method of zinc supplementation for youngstock is the administration of zinc boluses (young animals don’t drink enough to be protected by adding zinc to water). Anexa Vets offer a spore count monitoring service, a zinc bolusing service, and zinc testing to ensuring that your youngstock are receiving adequate levels of zinc.

Transport and quarantine biosecurity

Care and planning must be taken so your youngstock’s travel has the least effect on them. We can offer simple to in-depth plans to ensure your stock’s risk of disease is minimised. Plans include vaccinations, drenches (including quarantine drenches), a quarantine period upon arrival at the new property as well as ensuring certain procedures (e.g. disbudding/dehorning) are carried out at an appropriate time relative to transport.

Youngstock info sheets & how-to guides

It’s often not only what you do, but also how you do it,  that’s important,  that’s why it’s always a good idea to have a guide handy. Check out our info sheets below and ensure you are taking the best approach.

‘How to’ guides:


How to use a brix refractometer to measure colostrum quality.pdf


How to respond to a young calf that refuses a milk feed.pdf

Information sheets


Colostrum management.pdf


Calf disbudding aftercare.pdf



Podcast – Calves – from weaning to grazing


Podcast – Dairy calves and heifers - why reaching target weight is so important to the future herd


Podcast: Young cattle – Drenching and parasite control


Podcast: Dairy calves and heifers – trace elements testing and supplementation



BVD calf ear notching - what, why, how. A quick convo

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