Posts Categorized: Editorial

Go away and die, flies!

Few things get to me like flies do. They seem to have an arrogant, brazen, vindictive attitude; as if to say – “I’m here to make you miserable, and there is nothing you can do about it”. More annoyingly, they increasingly seem to be right about that! To start with, there is simply the stress… Read more »

How to spend or save on trace elements

flock of sheep

Production rates on farm are largely influenced by fertility and growth rates, both of which we can maximise in working alongside farmers. Common problems we encounter on farm which compromise these rates are inadequate nutrition for the stage of life, parasitism and disease. Trace elements, more specifically selenium, iodine, copper and cobalt, also play a… Read more »

The key to a successful lambing

A successful lambing requires both healthy ewes and healthy lambs! Strong, fit lambs are produced from ewes that have been well looked after ahead of lambing and have been free from diseases and problems. How do I know if my ewes are fit for lambing? Ewes should be in the correct body condition score at… Read more »

The ‘Normal’ Unpacking

The most exciting and nerve-wracking time of year is almost upon us, and we are probably all in agreement that the fields could do with some cria bouncing around to cheer the place up. One hopes that in all the chaos lately, that everyone has managed to get a hold of the essentials for the… Read more »

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 »