August 2023 Newsletter
I am sure the dry weather will return soon! Most certainly a topsy turvy year weather-wise. We continue to see tight supply chains with medicines; I wish I knew why! I have read that the EU are to blame but not sure if we can blame this on them! Forward planning enables us to try and smooth out the bumps in the road so the sooner you let us know you need a bulk load of vaccines etc, the easier it is to make sure we can supply.
Spring calving herds should soon be considering getting their cows scanned for pregnancy. There are several benefits to having your herd scanned, including expected calving dates and identifying barren cows. The simplest approach is to scan 6 weeks after the bull is out. Scanning at housing is also an option to reduce handlings but still identify empty cows. These can be sold before taking up their share of winter housing & feed; however, ageing the pregnancies will be much less accurate at this stage.
The recent wet weather will undoubtedly bring a worm challenge to many growing animals; but, do your lambs need worming? Please consider checking for worms before treating. I have beaten the drum about this quite a bit but we see so many wormer resistance issues, I make no apology!
Please also remember to regularly worm your farm dogs. We do see occasional cases of tapeworm cysts in beef cattle and lambs. Whilst it is quite possible the source is external from footpaths etc. we shouldn’t forget the farm dogs.
A recent study into pain control in disbudding demonstrated the benefits in terms of feed intakes and growth rates. We have observed the benefits of using pain relief e.g. Metacam in terms of calf demeanour for a long time now. Calves that were sedated in this study as well as given local anaesthetic and Metacam had benefits observed for seven days. We are sedating more and more groups for disbudding now, if you have an autumn born group to do shortly it may be worth considering.
You may have heard about the Animal Health and Welfare Infrastructure Grant. This will allocate awards to farmers ranging from £15,000 to £500,000; prioritising new and updated calf housing. The window for applications will open later this summer. More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/calf-housing-for-health-and-welfare-2023
We have another Ram MOT day on Thursday 24th August. If you would like to book your rams then please give the surgery a call. Rams will cost just £35 for a check over including semen evaluation.
We will be running another DIY AI course for cattle during September. If you would like more information or to put your name down then please let us know or speak to Edna.