UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Dairy producer views on calf rearing Russell, Elizabeth Rose


Calf rearing practices vary greatly among farms, including feeding and weaning methods. This variation may relate to differences in how dairy producers view these practices and evaluate their own success, but no previous research has examined these views. The aim of this study was to investigate perspectives of dairy producers on calf rearing, focusing on calf weaning and how they characterized weaning success. We interviewed 18 dairy producers from Western Canada: British Columbia (n = 13), Manitoba (n = 2), and Alberta (n = 3). Participants were asked to describe their calf weaning and rearing practices, and what they viewed as successes and challenges in weaning and rearing calves. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and subjected to qualitative analysis from which we identified four major themes: (1) reliance on calf-based indicators (e.g., health, growth, and behaviour), (2) management factors and personal experiences (e.g., ease, consistency, and habit), (3) environmental influences (e.g., facilities and equipment), and (4) integration of external support (e.g., advice and educational opportunities). These results provide insight into how dairy producers view calf weaning and rearing and may help inform the design of future research and knowledge transfer projects aimed at improving management practices on dairy farms.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International