All too often young calves are housed somewhere that is just either convenient for feeding, or unsuitable for larger cattle rather than in a facility designed for their specific needs. In this blog we will discuss the particular needs of young calves and highlight the importance of hygiene on a milk-fed system.
Animal health is a key aspect in any enterprise and with lambing season already beginning in some areas, take a proactive approach to maximise ewe and lamb performance. The majority of lamb losses occur during the first 48 hours of life, but this could be avoided by focusing on ewe and lamb nutrition.
I was very honoured and privileged to be chosen as one of 19 people from the UK to be presented as a Nuffield Farming Scholar for 2017, in Newcastle in late November last year, at the Nuffield Annual Conference.
A comprehensive dosing regime at housing is critical to remove worm and fluke infections, ensuring freedom from disease and maximum productivity of animals throughout the winter housing period. In addition, lice and mite burdens are removed, preventing rapid spread to others during close contact when housed.
Sheep scab is caused by Psoroptes ovis, a non-burrowing, surface-feeding mite, costing the UK sheep industry annually around £8.3 million, including £0.8 million in reduced animal performance .
Many Dairy and Beef producers may ask why it is necessary to test their herd for persistent infection of BVD. After all, they will question, if a Persistently Infected (PI) calf is going to die anyway, won’t things take care of themselves?
Gatelands Farm, near Penrith, is owned and farmed by Andrew and Angela Barraclough and their two children James and Alysha.
It is a 300-acre farm and the business is comprised of 150 milking cows and replacements. In addition to the milk business the family also rears veal calves and fattens cattle for Lake District Farmers, which supplies the best restaurants in London. Most recently its veal has featured in the final of the Great British Menu!
Unlike a human baby which is born with antibodies passed on through the placenta, a new born calf arrives without such protection and relies entirely on colostrum to receive those crucial antibodies.
Whether rearing beef cattle or dairy heifers, maximum weight gain during the low cost grazing season is clearly vital in the current financial climate, according to Zoetis vet Dave Armstrong. “So preventing performance losses due to roundworm burdens, or worse still deaths later in the season due to lungworm, are clearly sensible priorities,” he suggests.
You now have a straightforward way of evaluating the effectiveness of your sheep lameness control strategy, thanks to a useful new flock assessment tool. The practical ‘Lameness Control Planner’ from MSD Animal Health gives you a simple, yet highly visual ‘where are you now’ method of identifying whether your lameness management protocol is unbalanced in any way.