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I am a PhD student based at the Royal Veterinary College, and I am studying the effects of different types of dairy calf housing on health and welfare of calves. I produced an online survey for farmers to fill in, with the aim to try and establish how calves are currently being housed in the UK, and some of the routine management decisions that are currently in place for them.
Heifer rearing is integral to your dairy farming enterprise, with a lot of helpful information becoming available over recent years to help drive improvements within the industry. In addition to this, key decision makers (often at the processor and distributor level) have been imposing more stringent guidelines for producers to follow, and one area where this has occurred is in regard to calf housing. This survey is part of a large PhD project run by the Royal Veterinary College, and it aims to gather information about how dairy farmers are currently housing and managing their pre-weaning heifer calves. We are particularly keen to identify whether calves are individually or group housed, as well as farmers opinions about these different housing strategies. This information will then contribute to a better understanding of current calf housing strategies, and will direct further work to help understand the advantages and disadvantages of these systems.
The survey can be accessed online via this link: https://rvc.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/uk-calf-housing-survey
Participation in this survey is entirely voluntary and it will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The data collected from the survey will be completely anonymised and will remain confidential. Many thanks for your help with this project