With warm weather approaching, the risk of heat stress in calves increases. Everyone is well aware that heat stress in adult cattle reduces performance, increases stress and results in increased incidence of disease, and calves are no different. Calves have an upper critical limit of 25°C, however they will start to feel the effects of heat stress at 21°C.
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.
Introducing Prime Beef
This year has seen the launch of our milk powder that has been specifically designed and formulated for beef calves – Prime Beef.
Prime Beef is a high quality whey based powder, a high 22% protein content promoting good growth rates, and a lower 17% oil rate to drive early concentrate intake.
Wynnstay will be exhibiting at this year’s NSA Welsh Sheep Event at Llwyn Bedw, Talybont on Usk, Brecon on 16th May 2017.
The stand will feature a number of key seasonal products for sheep and beef farmers including; compound feeds – Lambmaster pellets and Ewemaster nuts, Wymmmin Premier Sheep mineral and, feed blocks and buckets and a range of hardware equipment. The Wynnstay team will also be on hand to offer advice on seasonal topics, from grass seed mixtures to worming.
Visitors will also be able to pick up a free copy of the Wynnstay Sheep & Beef Catalogue, which includes over 2,000 products making it a one-stop shop for sheep and beef farmers.
For those with a competitive nature, there will be a chance to win a Wynnstay bodywarmer or goody bag by taking part in our event competition.
The Wynnstay stand will be located outside, at stand number 149.
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.