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.
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.
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.
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.
Biosecurity, exotic diseases and supermarket supply chains were at the top of the agenda at the only dedicated one day event for the beef and sheep industry in the UK.
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.
Rainfall has been extreme in some regions whilst the temperatures have rarely been close to seasonal averages. This is summer? As we move through July it looks as though we could be in, nationally, for a poor harvest. Come on.