Calf births registered to dairy cows in Britain are up 0.7% in the first quarter of 2024 when compared to the previous year, data published by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) shows.

Dairy calf registrations in Q1 amounted to 406,000 head, which AHDB indicates is the highest on record for the first quarter of the year.

More births were registered in January and February when compared to the 2023 figures, with a 1% and 2.7% annual increase for each respective month.

In contrast, calf registrations in March 2024 were down 1.7% on the previous year. AHDB analysts suggest the trend in calf registrations reflects the move toward more defined block calving patterns on dairy farms in Britain.

Birth registrations for the second quarter of 2024 are expected to be lower year on year. Slaughter data shows that 52% of cattle processed in abattoirs are born to a dairy dam.

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