Calf to Calving

Published 1 March 16

Cut your rearing costs with Calf to Calving

AHDB Dairy’s Calf to Calving (C2C) initiative builds upon research which shows that achieving first calving by 24 months of age can significantly reduce your rearing costs. C2C enables dairy farmers to achieve measured improvements in heifer rearing specifically in calf and heifer survival, growth, health, fertility and age at first calving. 

Achieve 16% savings

AHDB Dairy funded  research conducted by the Royal Veterinary College shows that calving at 24 months rather than 26 months reduces average rearing costs by 16%. Thinking about this another way, the cost of rearing a heifer increases by £2.87 per day for every day increase in age at first calving over 24 months.

Learn from fellow farmers

To bring C2C to life, we are working with 12 host farms across GB who are tracking 10 calves from birth through to first calving. The host farms are measuring and monitoring survival, nutrition, growth, health and reproductive performance.  

We are running open meetings on these farms throughout the year where you can hear and follow the progress of their heifers, and discuss the impact of any changes in management on heifer performance. You will have the opportunity to hear from the best extension and technical expertise from both AHDB Dairy and the wider industry. Due to demand, we are also holding C2C Lite meetings covering similar content around best practice heifer rearing. 

Find your nearest meeting here.


Resources to help you

If you can’t wait for your next meeting or are unable to attend you can still make use of our supporting resources.  AHDB Dairy have developed a calf rearing resource pack including weigh bands, factsheets, short videos and webinars to help farmers and the wider industry tackle all areas of heifer rearing management.

Topics covered in the C2C initiative include the below. Click on the boxes to access further information on each topic.


Colostrum feeding Economics of rearing post weaning nutrition Nutrition at grass
Genomics Fertility of youngstock Outwintering Calf milk replacer energy calculator