July 2024 Newsletter

The Weather let us down for our 20th Celebration but thank you to so many of you for turning out. We had a great night and I am sure you did too! I am pleased to say we raised close to £2000 for Somerset FCN which is a tremendous effort. I know this money will be put to good use within our local farming community.

Although lambing seems like yesterday, it won’t be long before tupping is upon us. Many of you have seen the benefits of using teaser rams to both advance and tighten the lambing period. We plan on offering “Teaser Days” at the practice again this year on Monday 15th July and 19th August from 8.30am till 1pm. Please give us a call to book a slot. We recommend using a young keen ram as a teaser. He should be structurally correct with good feet. A young ram gives you more years as a teaser and therefore is a better investment. We have a special rate for these dates of £65 per Ram.

We continue to see a large number of both sub-fertile and in-fertile bulls. It is hugely important in order to maintain a tight calving block that your bull or bulls are performing well. A pre-breeding semen evaluation is a relatively straightforward procedure that we do routinely on many farms prior to the start of mating. If buying a bull, I would not buy one without having a semen evaluation done. If you would like to book your bull (or rams) then please give the surgery a call.

Do your lambs need worming? Many farmers will routinely dose lambs (sometimes ewes as well) every 3-4 weeks throughout the summer, the choice of product used being based on price, meat withdrawal period and what there is an opened container of in the medicines cabinet! This can lead to over usage of wormers if the lambs don’t have significant worm burdens, and increasing levels of anthelmintic resistance developing on the farm. To check whether lambs need worming we would strongly recommend having a worm egg count performed at the surgery on a pooled dung sample. If you collect fresh dung samples from up to 10 individual lambs and bring them to the surgery, we will pool equal quantities from each sample to create a representative sample from the group to test. This will determine the level of the worm burden that lambs are carrying and whether they need treating. Worm egg counts can also be performed after worming (post treatment samples) to determine how much resistance there is to the wormer that you have used. In this case the dung samples should be checked either 1 week after treatment with a levamisole-based drench or 2 weeks after a white drench, ivermectin based treatment or Zolvix. If there is a significant worm egg count in a post treatment sample then resistance is suspected. If collecting these samples seems like too much hassle then please let us take the hassle away. We can collect straight from the field and perform the count for just £20 per sample. Just give us the “what3words” location for the field where the lambs are grazing, obviously lambs need to be weaned! We are happy to collect from grazing cattle too. We can add Lungworm testing, as we are entering the High risk period for Husk.

Following the incursion of Blue Tongue 3 last autumn we need to remain vigilant to cases occurring through the midge season this year (April to November).  It is likely we will see spread from the south coast should the virus arrive at our shores. There is no vaccine available yet but it is still hoped that this could be imminent. We all have our fingers crossed that the western side of the UK escapes the worst. It may be worth refreshing your memory at www.gov.uk/guidance/bluetongue to be sure you spot it early should the worst happen.

Related Posts

June 2024 Newsletter

The seasons this year have certainly presented their challenges. Grass is now growing with plenty having been cut, I am hopeful that the maize in the ground will enjoy the warm soil and grow well....

May 2024 Newsletter

It has not been an easy spring so far, especially for those spring block calving herds who have struggled in the wet weather with poor grass growth and reduced grazing intakes. Unsurprisingly, UK...

March 2024 Newsletter

The wet weather is certainly taking its toll on stock. Fields are inevitably heavily poached even at low stocking rates. The cold wet weather along with the soil contamination of grass makes it...