Bobby Calves Welfare Regulation Changes and what they mean for you

May 12, 2023

New Zealand has long been a global leader in protecting animal welfare through regulations that govern nearly every aspect of an animal’s life, with increasing requirements by the government and markets that affect all dairy farmers.

Changing rules around cattle rearing can catch dairy farmers by surprise if they’re not staying abreast of new legislation, with new rules considered last year which will come into force soon.

Last year the government consulted on changes to the way you farm that relates to body condition score, intensive winter grazing, shelter, provision of lying surfaces and limiting time on hard surfaces, calf rearing and end-of-life management.

Additionally, Fonterra has recently publicly announced changes to its supply contracts, ordering its farmers to stop killing bobby calves on their farms unless there is a humane reason for doing so.

While there are a number of regulation changes, one key change is that Fonterra suppliers are required to provide suitable paddock shelter for young calves before and during transportation, and at points of sale or slaughter. Additionally, calves are not able to be transported until they are four days old. 

How can Outpost Buildings help you?

Here at Outpost Buildings, we have a number of helpful solutions for your dairy cattle management. We produce tough, durable, and portable structures designed specifically to shelter, transport, and house your bobby calves. Not only that, our structures are versatile, they can be used for storing timber, equipment, seedlings and much more.

By incorporating these structures into your dairy farm, you’ll be taking an important step to promote and protect the optimal welfare of your bobby calves.

For example, our new Hunter 2 Bay Portable Calf Shelter is designed with functionality in mind. It is a side opening structure to allow wide access and the application of gates where needed.

Gates can either be existing steel gates, or timber gates can be provided, if needed.

Another great feature is its ability to split the two bays by adding dividing rails. This way calves can be separated based on age.

With good airflow, it reduces insect infestation and its versatility makes it a multi purpose structure for storage, plant seedlings and much more.

We also have a range of strong and relocatable paddock shelters that are suitable for calves such as the Upland and Borderland shelters.
Upland Paddock Shelter
With 2.5m and 2.1m heights respectively they have a suitable height to walk in and inspect or handle the animals.

These end opening shelters provide great shelter from the elements and also being relocatable means they can be positioned away from prevailing winds and driving rain.

Outpost is known for being built tough. The kitsets are strong, super durable and weather proof so you don’t have to worry about them blowing around in the wind or getting damaged.

But don't just take our word for it, one of our customers Louette said in a recent testimonial.

“On horrible days, they literally all just go in there and they love it. And it’s not something that I ever have to chase them into which obviously means it’s quite comfortable and sheltered for them.”

“The design of the shed prevents the weather from driving in there while also allowing for good air flow and ventilation so it doesn’t get stinky either and helps prevent bugs.”

Outpost Bobby Calf Pens provides a safe, sheltered, well drained and ventilated area for the calves. They are designed to be relocatable so you can move them if you need to by simply dragging the building with your 4x4 or tractor.

The New Zealand-timber framed structures comply with all existing regulations and are easy to implement and move around due to their skid-mounted base. We are also staying abreast of any changes in the relevant Codes and will adjust any specifications as needed.

All of these DIY kitsets are easy to assemble, and a breeze to move around! They can even be customised to meet your specific needs if the standard sizes don’t work. Reach out to us today to get a quote for any custom work or to secure your bobby calf management structures!

Upland side opening shelter

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