Beef farming, Dairy farming

Thinking About Stopping IBR Vaccination? Think Again.

In previous blogs we have looked at IBR the disease, and the different types of vaccine available to provide protection. In this blog we are going to look at an on-farm case study which might make you think twice about stopping vaccinating!

Beef farming, Dairy farming

Understanding which IBR vaccine to use in your herd

IBR is present in most dairy herds as well as many beef herds. Infection in naïve animals (animals which haven’t met the virus before) can be particularly severe with signs ranging from fever, eye and nasal discharges, milk drop, abortion and in some cases death.

Beef farming, Dairy farming

Why IBR is an important disease to control in your herd

Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) is a hidden disease in many beef and dairy herds, but one that can prove costly. Because many of the symptoms of IBR infection are not specific to IBR, herds can be unknowingly infected, and suffering both production losses, and risk of clinical disease in naïve animals

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming


Things never stay the same for long in farming. With each changing season bringing a different set of challenges and opportunities, you can never be sure that what worked last month, last season or last year will work the next.

Protecting Your Newly Weaned Suckled Calves Against Pneumonia This Winter

A nationwide shortage of forage leading to increased feed costs for weaned calves this winter, means farmers need to focus on converting feed into growth as efficiently as possible.

Get the most from costly feed by maximising cattle health this winter

If ever there was a year when investing in your stock to get the maximum return is going to be important, then 2018/19 is the one. With feed costs up by about 30% on the year, and some farmers already buffer feeding winter forage, there are things you can do to maximise production efficiency.

Parasite Watch, Pig farming, Sheep farming


Farming is centuries old. But that’s no reason to not be excited about its future. Agriculture is an ever-changing industry. It’s necessary to engage with new discoveries, new initiatives and new ideas to stay on top of your business and inspire the farmers of tomorrow.

What is Coccidiosis and how is it affecting your profits?

Coccidiosis is caused by Protozoa. A Protozoa is a very small parasite which is only made of a single cell. There are lots of different types of Protozoa; the one which causes Coccidiosis in cattle is called Eimeria. There are also lots of types of Eimeria and you may find up to 12 different species in cattle. Coccidiosis is most often seen in calves between 1-2 months of life, but it can affect them up to 1 year of age.

Pig farming, Sheep farming

Inspiring the Next Generation of Farmers – Sense of Purpose

We asked influencers in the industry why young people should choose farming as a career, see what they said!

Pig farming, Sheep farming

Inspiring the Next Generation of Farmers – Career Choice

Remember the career advice you received in school? For most young people, the push to make even a vague decision about their future is bewildering.

Top tips to overcoming disease challenges when buying reared dairy-bred calves from multiple sources

Buying in animals from multiple sources can pose a disease risk. For calves originating from herds in a recognised health scheme some important information will be known, but not necessarily the whole picture and therefore all the diseases they may be carrying.


Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) is caused by bovine herpesvirus 1 and can cause severe upper respiratory tract disease in cattle of all ages.

How vaccinating to protect respiratory health can help save you money

Although prime cattle prices remain steady and are up around 3-4% on last year, beef farmers should still be looking to maximise output from their system.

Sheep farming

Why every farmer needs to know about R.A.B.I

Farming can be incredibly unpredictable. That’s no secret. Yet if something unexpected left you struggling financially, wouldn’t it be reassuring to know that help was available? To raise awareness of their grants, a leading farming charity is asking farmers like you to join them in their upcoming campaign – the Farmhouse Breakfast.

Beef Herd Fertility Management – Montana Style

Recently, along with some Zoetis colleagues, I had the opportunity to make an educational trip to Mid-West Montana, USA to find out more about their beef herd fertility management systems. We were hosted by Jason and Jody Swanz from Snowy Mountain Cattle Co. near Judith Gap who run around 550 Angus breeding cows on their ranch.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Flies: annoying your herd, your flock and you!

By the time you notice cattle or sheep being troubled by flies, a population explosion is already taking place! Discover how you can take action to prevent flies impacting your herd, your flock and you!

Minimising calving difficulties in beef cattle

Difficult calvings increase calf losses, reduce fertility and cost money! Better calf management can save time and money. Read our three stage guide and see what's best for you and your calves.

Can beef fertility management improve cattle productivity

A holistic approach to effective reproductive management of beef cows and heifers has been discussed throughout the veterinary profession but what are the opportunities in British beef farming?

Sheep farming


In 2016 we saw the re-emergence of BTV-8 in France, the virus being the same as the one involved in the 2008-2009 outbreak of Bluetongue.

Fertility Management: Taking things to the next level

Fertility management can lead to improved welfare and output in cattle. At our Northern Ireland event, Professor David Patterson inspires vets around building a sustainable industry and taking beef fertility management to the next level.

Is Mycoplasma bovis affecting calf health on your farm?

Bovine Respiratory disease (also known as pneumonia) is a major problem of young stock, causing significant loss and compromising animal welfare. Exposure to Mycoplasma bovis increases the risk of calves being treated for respiratory disease, and Mycoplasma bovis is not uncommonly isolated from the lungs of pneumonic calves so it’s important when controlling youngstock respiratory disease that we understand the role of Mycoplasma bovis.

Which vaccines, when? Choosing a vaccination protocol for BRD

In Part 1 of our blog on winter vaccination we covered the general principles of vaccination, including vaccine choice and correct storage and handling. In Part 2 we will look in more detail at vaccination protocols using the example of vaccination against bovine respiratory disease (BRD).

Sheep farming

You’re a busy farmer. That’s why you need this livestock farming website.

Livestock Farming is a site built to help you conquer the challenges of Britain’s toughest business. Read more.

Vaccines: what are they, how do they work, and how should you handle them

In our preparing for winter housing series of blogs we now turn our attention to vaccination. Read more here.

Preparing for winter housing part 2: wind speed and temperature

In our previous blog on preparing for winter housing we looked at ventilation and moisture management. In this follow on blog we’ll discuss in more detail two other key considerations when looking at building function: wind speed (draughts) and temperature.

Preparing for winter housing part 1: are your buildings up to the job?

As summer draws to a close and you start planning for winter housing the question you need to ask is ‘are my buildings fit for purpose’? That’s fit for the purpose of housing cattle, and fit for the age of cattle intended to be housed.

Pre-housing health check: worm and fluke control

We all appreciate the transition into housing is a risky time for first grazing season animals, there are so many things to consider; dietary change, weaning, grouping, respiratory disease, and how to control parasites specifically fluke and worms.

Winter Is Coming: Prepare Now With SureCalf!

Winter may seem a long way away, but to coin a phrase ‘winter IS coming’ so start planning early and see if you can qualify for the SureCalf programme. Now is the time to check that sheds are fit for purpose, possibly looking to modify any in which problems may have occurred last winter and pre-housing treatments or vaccinations need to be administered in time to ensure they will be fully effective by the predicted housing date – this is where SureCalf comes in.

Sheep farming

Bluetongue threat to the UK

There has been much information on bluetongue in the press of late discussing the risk of a disease incursion into the UK.

Key events for beef and dairy farmers in 2016

Farming events. So many to go to, so little time. We have wandered the www to find the 2016 events that matter most for beef and dairy farmers.

Sheep farming

DIY early warning of fly population explosion

By the time you notice cattle or sheep being troubled by flies, a population explosion is already taking place. However, it's easy and cheap to make some fly traps and then keep an eye on them every few days for an early warning that fly numbers are on the rise.

#springonthefarm - choose your favourite!

For the past few weeks, we’ve been asking farmers from all over the UK to send us their favourite spring photos and show us what #springonthefarm means to them. We’ve had some fantastic entries, and our judging panel has selected a shortlist of five of the very best.

How to improve the value of reared 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?

How to manage breeding by AI in your beef herd

There are two ways to manage breeding by AI in your herd – either breeding to observed heats or using hormones to synchronise cows ready for AI.

Beef suckler farm walk

Three very well attended suckler beef farm walks hosting a total of 310 farmers on the use of synchronisation and AI were held at the end of March in Northern Ireland. The first meeting was held in County Fermanagh at Stephen Maguire’s farm.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Clostridia diseases: How to protect your livestock

The sudden death of livestock is every farmers’ worst fear. Not only is it upsetting and stressful, it’s also extremely costly. Yet productive animals are lost to Clostridial diseases on a daily basis. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Stop vaccinating in haste, repent at leisure

For any business under financial pressure from declining returns, its good practice to look at the cost base and see where efficiencies can be made. However any such cost stripping needs to take into account the potential impact of that action. For livestock farmers, if the result is a reduction in animal productivity the result could be a net financial loss! Such decisions therefore need to be carefully thought through.

Infographic: How to improve the productivity of beef suckler calves

All beef farmers want to optimise the value of their herds in a healthy, sustainable way. Did you know that one way of doing this is through putting plans in place to protect the respiratory health of your calves?

Parasite Control – Growing Cattle at Grass

Given the huge variation and local unpredictability of weather seen across the country this winter, it will be hard to predict the affect this may have had on parasite survival rates; however 2016 plays out it would be hard to believe that the challenge will be as low as it was in 2015.

Sheep farming

Welcome to the Livestock Farming blog

Hello and a very warm welcome to the Livestock Farming blog. This is a space for the UK livestock farming community to keep up to date with industry news, trends and insights.

Beef Farming

Dairy Farming

Pig Farming

Sheep Farming

Parasite Watch