Posts Categorized: Editorial

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 »

Rigorous measures needed for control of OPA

sheep

Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA) is an infective lung tumour caused by the Jaagsiekte virus. It can be difficult to diagnose and has no treatment, making it a challenge to control once it takes hold within a flock. The virus is mostly spread by secretions from the nose and mouth but can also be passed from… Read more »

5 Tips for Reducing Antimicrobial Use in Clinical Mastitis

Most dairy farms are already seeing the benefits of selective dry cow therapy. With increasing pressure from milk buyers and the general public to reduce antimicrobial usage. This article looks at what is often the main contributor to dairy antimicrobial use, namely clinical mastitis. 1. Sampling; know your enemy! It is good practice to sample… Read more »

Beef Health Planning

2020 has been a very strange year but it is important to begin looking ahead to next year. Health planning on beef farms plays an important role in setting targets, identifying any issues that reduced productivity and implementing health protocols that will help maximise the output on your unit. Health planning needs to be an… Read more »

Fly Control – Don’t Get Struck!

With Blowflies being one of the most common ectoparasites to affect sheep in the UK, flystrike is likely to affect 80% of UK sheep flocks every single year. Even with preventative measures in place across many farms, an average of 1.5% of ewes and 3% lambs may be affected each year in the UK. With… Read more »

Mobility Scoring: a tool for tackling lameness

Cattle lameness is still an important issue facing dairy farmers with recent studies showing the lameness prevalence across UK dairy farms to be around 30%, with 26% of cows a score 2 and 4.1% a Score 3. As with most things, prevention is better that cure so routinely mobility scoring your herd will help you… Read more »