As the year progresses, it’s time to start thinking about the autumn parasite challenges, we’ve seen some very high worm egg counts this year which could continue into the tupping season. Continuation of the current warm, wet weather could result in us seeing an earlier fluke challenge too.
In order to increase performance in any flock, it is important to consider regular body condition scoring (BCS) in order to identify any drastic changes in ewe condition not noticeable through observation alone. Through this you can ensure that ewes are on target for the system and the time of year, and in turn will result in improved fertility, increased lamb performance and reduced incidence of metabolic diseases.
Calf weaning is always a topic of much discussion and debate; it is difficult to filter through advice and figure out what is best for your farm. I have sat around many farm kitchen tables and had the same discussion. As a calf specialist, I would always recommend weaning later, and using a step down weaning method but don’t just take my word for it, let’s have a look at some of the research.
My approach to weaning calves is exactly like getting the biting point in a car – take your foot off the clutch too soon and you will stall. If calves are weaned too young or abruptly, it can have significant effect on their growth.
Calf pneumonia costs the UK cattle industry millions every year and is of huge financial significance. These losses arise from the cost of treatment, reduced weight gain, increased labour and most significantly from calf deaths. Calf pneumonia is one of the most common causes of illness and poor performance in housed calves from one to five months old.
The Welsh Government have announced that a Farm Business Grant will be available to help farmers in Wales improve the economic and environmental performance of their agricultural holdings. It is designed to allow farmers to invest in equipment and machinery that have been pre-identified as offering clear and quantifiable benefits to farm enterprises; providing a 40% contribution.
Planned worm control with Panacur® Bolus saves money. Waiting until clinical signs are seen in youngstock – such as weight loss, scours and dehydration – means that production losses are already stacking up.
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.
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.