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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.