Posts Categorized: Editorial

Looking ahead to turnout

As turnout approaches, we move our attention from diseases of housing (pneumonia, lice and ringworm) to those more prevalent during grazing and what we may do to lessen the risk or impact of these diseases to optimise herd performance in the forthcoming months. The primary diseases we concern ourselves with for this time of year are lungworm, leptospirosis and clostridial diseases

The importance of colostrum management

Whether a calf is destined for dairy or beef, striving to get them off to the best possible start is undoubtedly a key to success. One investment that can make a tangible difference in their future productivity is a well developed and effective colostrum management protocol. When it comes to calf health, their level of… Read more »

Lungworm, not just a disease of youngstock

Lungworm (Dictyocaulus viviparus), also referred to as ‘husk’, largely affects first-time grazing youngstock causing reduced growth rates, increased risk of secondary bacterial pneumonia, and death in severe cases. However, the disease is not limited to youngstock and can cause significant production loss in adult cattle if they become infected. Lifecycle The lungworm lifecycle is similar… Read more »

How fertile is your bull?

Not knowing whether your bull is fertile, subfertile or infertile will have an impact on the length of the calving period, the percentage of barren cows and calf weaning weights. Current studies show that 1 in 5 bulls are subfertile, either on physical exam or semen evaluation or both. This most likely would increase to… Read more »

Dairy Heifer Calf Growth Rate Monitoring

We are all aware that to get the best lifelong potential from a heifer, you want it to calve at 24 months. However, the NMR national average figure for age at first calving is 28-29 months. Studies have shown that a heifer calving at 23-24 months has the best survivability by giving more milk (over… Read more »

Looking after the ewe at lambing time

Pre-lambing preparation Getting nutrition right in the last stage of pregnancy is essential. Ewe nutrition will directly affect the incidence of: Pregnancy related disease Colostrum quality and quantity and hence lamb disease Foetal Growth in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy and wool deposition (More wool = Less Hypothermia) Milk production and therefore lamb productivity… Read more »

The Camelid Winter Checklist

Though we have fought valiantly through possibly the strangest summer of our lives, we must look to winter and think about how our alpacas and llamas will fare in wetter, colder weather. Preparation, and shifting our priorities to winter husbandry tasks will help set all camelid keepers in good stead for declining temperatures and higher… Read more »

Responsible Use of Medicines in Youngstock Management

The term “responsible use” is frequently used, but what does it actually mean? “As little as possible, as much as necessary” is one phrase been used to describe the approach to responsible use of antimicrobial drugs on farm.  Antimicrobial drugs (antibiotics) are just one of the available tools for managing disease in livestock and it… Read more »

Calf Pneumonia – not just a winter problem

Pneumonia remains the most common reason for death or poor performance in growing calves, and whilst we do see a spike in the number of cases through the winter months, it is important to remember that it can occur at anytime of year and the long-term impacts can be significant.  On average a case of… Read more »

Tightening Calving Blocks

The industry target for mating period in beef herds is 9 weeks resulting in 95 calves born to 100 cows put to the bull, 60% of which calve in the first three weeks.  The reality is that many herds are struggling to meet this target. Those herds may be running bulls for a 12 to… Read more »