Angela Barraclough of Gatelands Farm

Feed regime a success at Gatelands Farm

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!

Preparation For Tupping

Farmers want a high lambing percentage to increase profits, but poor planning can lead to poor performance. For success in tupping season, plan for healthy pregnancies: adopt a he
althy nutrition plan
and assess the body condition of ewes. This will encourage higher ovulation rates, twin and triplet births, and lower rates of aborted pregnancies.

Cattle Parasite Clean Out For Housing

Throwing down a challenge to beef rearer-finishers, the Scottish Rural University College (SRUC) has reported that cattle killed after 12-15 month of age “eat their own profits”. Based on data from seven abattoirs over 12 years, they found that reducing slaughter age would improve beef profitability, regardless of breed. Savings on feed, bedding and labour costs made significant contributions to the figures.

Stamp Out Sheep Lameness

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.

Dairy-Bred Beef Calves

reared-calves-infographic-

How to improve the value of dairy-bred beef calves

As a farmer, you already know what makes your business tick. You don’t need us to tell you that optimising the value of each animal is the key to a successful business. But did you know the importance of the first three months in terms of maximising lifetime performance of your dairy-bred reared calves?

dairy-bred_beef_calf_infographic1Why are the first three months of life so important?

The value of a beef calf is inextricably linked to growth rates and weight. What farmers may not fully appreciate is that reaching target growth rates requires tip-top respiratory health. Calves with lung damage don’t grow as well as they should. And the greater the lung damage, the greater the impact on daily liveweight gain.

Pneumonia is one of the most common calfhood problems. And it’s estimated that 67% of cases affect calves younger than three months old. Calves whose growth has been stunted by lung damage during the first few months of life, may never catch up. The link is clear: respiratory illness means poor growth which means reduced value.

SONY DSC

How to improve respiratory health in reared beef calves 

There are a few important steps in protecting your calves from respiratory illness:

  • It’s important that newborn calves receive sufficient colostrum – which is packed with important antibodies
  • Newborn calves should receive at least 10% of their bodyweight within their first twelve hours of life, half of which should ideally be given within two hours of birth
  • Receiving sufficient colostrum is as important for bought in calves as it is for home reared ones, arguably more so
  • When buying calves from known sources or direct from farm you can check this with the seller.
  • The next step is to vaccinate against the common viruses that cause pneumonia in young calves. It’s perhaps one of the most important things you can do for their respiratory wellbeing
  • Other key measures include ensuring calf housing is well ventilated, and draught-free, with plenty of dry clean bedding.
  • Keeping young calves away from older cows and making sure no more than 30 animals share the same airspace will further reduce the risks.

Taking the time to get the simple things right helps ensure you minimise disease risk, and protect the health of your calves. Best of all, it will have a tangible impact on the lifetime productivity of your animals.


Wynnstay support responsible use of veterinary medicines and stock a large variety of vaccinations in order to improve the potential performance of your calves. Speak to your local SQP in store or local Wynnstay representative for further information and advice.


Information for this blog has been provided by Zoetis. For original blog, please click here.

 

To Treat or Not To Treat?

Parasite watch header

To treat or not to treat?

Should farmers treat their animals? As we move into an increasingly wet and humid summer, do you know the parasite burden in your area? Farmers should be wary that 2016 will not be a repeat of 2015, where parasite burdens were at a record low. In a very short time, Zoetis have seen full fly traps pretty much everywhere, starting very early in Dorset and then moving up the country and Nematodirus showing a very similar pattern, with high counts early in the season. Other diseases, such as Coccidiosis, have shown to have had a big impact on lamb rearing. To read the June addition of Parasite Watch, click here.

Evidence-based help from #parasitewatch

Clearly, effective control of internal parasites, without spending money unnecessarily on over-using wormers, can help improve lamb growth rates and get them away early. As previewed Zoetis_tm_4cin the previous Zoetis newsletter, a localised early warning system using farm-based intelligence hotspots to help sheep farmers make more timely, evidence-based parasite control decisions has been launched by Zoetis.

Parasite Watch is based on a nationwide network of farms providing diagnostic samples through the summer. From these, real time information is available to farmers about parasite challenges in their local area. The system is already generating live information on the challenge from four key parasite types:

  • Gastrointestinal worms – regular faecal egg counts (FECs) and growth rate monitoring to check for the onset of parasitic gastroenteritis.
  • Nematodirus – regular FECs, weather data and other sources to give an indication of disease risk on sentinel farms.
  • Liver Fluke – using risk and weather data, coupled with regular sampling on Parasite Watch farms, to provide early notice of predictable threats.
  • Flies – data from Parasite Watch farms to prompt early warnings, possibly before it is noticeable around livestock, that fly populations are multiplying quickly.

Veterinary Perspective

Zoetis veterinary consultant, Dave Armstrong, says the aim of Parasite Watch is to promote timely decisions by farmers, in conjunction with their SQP animal health adviser or vet, to treat or indeed not treat.

The data collection process is led by Zoetis vets, who will also provide commentary and early warnings of parasite outbreaks and advice on challenges that could threaten sheep wellbeing and productivity.

In addition to data, Mr Armstrong says Parasite Watch farmers have also agreed to share their observations via Twitter. “Our aim is to create a resource of real-world and real-time sheep farming information that can help improve health and welfare decisions, and sheep enterprise productivity,” he says.

An advisory blog has also been created here where surveillance results and topical guidance will be posted. One of its early postings says, “2015 was a record low year for parasite outbreaks, but 2016 is unlikely to be the same. It is crucial not to get complacent.”

If you have any concerns about the parasite numbers in your area and are looking for effective solutions to protect your flock, speak to your local SQP animal health advisor in store today.


For further information please contact your veterinary surgeon, SQP or Zoetis UK Ltd, Walton Oaks, Dorking Road, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7NS. Customer Support 0845 3008034. www.zoetis.co.uk. Always seek the advice of your medicines provider. Use medicines responsibly AH152/16.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close