Each fact sheet describes good and best practice and is structured according to four key pillars of animal welfare: feeding, housing, health and behaviour. Some topics may be relevant to more than one life stage and this is indicated at the start of each factsheet.
The life stages are characterised as follows:
- calves are defined as bovines from birth to 12 months of age
- heifers are usually 13- 24 months of age
- adult cows are 2 years plus
- end of career- animals can be any age between 2 years old until the end of their productive life either due to natural culling, illness or injury
Information on the care of bulls has been indicated in the relevant text, although this life stage group was not within the direct scope of Care4Dairy.
In addition to the guides, several EU member states have shared examples of “success stories” where best practice solutions have been used in training, on farm assessments and communication tools. Further resources are provided to support the best practice guides.