Through Dairy Australia’s Cows Create Careers – Farm Module project – Maclean High School students have learnt about dairy industry careers in a very hands-on way: over three-weeks they have reared and cared for two three-week-old calves.
Local dairy farmer Peter Graham, Norco nutritionist Roisin Dunne and Ag teacher Angela Hammond have shown students how to care for the calves, and demonstrated skills such as animal husbandry & feeding.
MHS students in years 11 and 12 have been responsible for the care and bottle feeding of the 2 heifer (young female) calves (who have various names depending on the class). The calves have provided the students with the experience of intensive animal husbandry including practices such as stable cleaning, management of water and feed containers, checking of parameter fences and maintenance of a suitable and comfortable environment for the calves. Calves have been bottle fed twice a day since at MHS and students have been responsible for the mixing, feeding and clean-up required when feeding claves.
Students have learnt to monitor health and wellbeing of the calves by noting the general attitude of the calves, their appetite and vital signs such as temperature. They have also recorded calf weights – via both the farm cattle scales and by the weight tape method – it has been interesting comparing the two methods.
Upon completion of the project, MHS students will have the opportunity to attend an interactive Presentation Day at Lismore, where there will be industry-based games and prizes awarded to the winning teams and schools.