Dairy farming

Will You Be Vaccinating Your Cattle Against Leptospirosis This Spring?

It’s the New Year, the days are short, cold, and Spring may seem some way off, but now is the ideal time to start planning for Spring turn out. With this comes the decision about whether to vaccinate your cattle against leptospirosis, so it’s worth reminding ourselves of the facts.

Pig farming


If you want to use professional rodenticide products on your farm, you now require approved certification. Here’s your lowdown on the new rules.

Poultry farming

Vaccine transport, storage and handling

Vaccination is one of the most important tools used in preventing diseases and in reducing the economic losses in poultry production. Proper transport, storage and handling of vaccines are essential to achieve maximal vaccine safety and efficacy.

Poultry farming

Three finalists competing for new Young Poultry Vet Award

Two years ago Zoetis began sponsoring the Young Vet category in the National Pig Awards organised by Poultry Business magazine. Now the publishers have introduced a similar category for young poultry vets which Zoetis is also sponsoring.

Pig farming

How can we control Post Weaning Diarrhoea?

After weaning there is a high incidence of diarrhoea, often referred to as Post Weaning Diarrhoea (PWD).

Pig farming

The ban on Zinc and the reoccurrence of Oedema Disease

Historically the pig industry used antimicrobials in the diets of young pigs to control disease, such as post weaning diarrhoea (PWD), however the UK pig industry has now drastically reduced its reliance on antimicrobial use.

Pig farming

Store vaccines correctly for maximum efficacy

If you’re not looking after your pig vaccines correctly, you could be storing up problems for your pigs and your profits.

Pig farming

An Introduction to Pig Vetting

The president of the Pig Veterinary Society (PVS), Richard Pearson BVSc MRCVS, from the Wiltshire-based George Pig Practice, discusses his introduction to pig medicine

Pig farming

Pig Vet Spotlight: Young Pig Vet of the Year Louise Blenkhorn

As far back as I can remember, it was always my dream to be a vet, and I was always wanting to help improve animal health and welfare. My grandad and my father were pig farmers in Northern Ireland, so it’s what I know, love and have a real passion for. And because pig health and management are so closely interconnected, the sector suits my practical and hands-on approach.

Pig farming

Can Pigs get Coronavirus?

The fear about coronavirus is spreading around the world faster than the virus itself. But did you know that you possibly have coronavirus on your pig farm right now? No need to panic, these are porcine coronaviruses that can’t infect humans, but they can cause some nasty diseases in pigs.

Preparing For Winter Housing Part 2; Wind Speed and Temperature

In Part 2 of our preparing for winter housing blogs we will be looking in more detail at the impact of wind speed (draughts) and temperature on housed cattle.

Dairy farming

SmartBow®- The Most Advanced Dairy Cow Monitoring System

SmartBow is the most advanced dairy cow monitoring system available, with proven heat detection, health and welfare monitoring through rumination alerts and real time location tracking. Each cow is monitored 24 hours a day to ensure they are healthy and productive on the farm, which means time and resources can be efficiently allocated to where they are needed.

Dairy farming

Why is CLARIFIDE for you?

Heifer genomic testing allows us to understand their ability to be productive and remain healthy. Find out what genomics is and how it can help you accurately select which heifers you want to be the future of your herd. This can result in reduced costs and potentially an improved cash flow. Genomics testing with CLARIFIDE and CLARIFIDE Plus is for every progressive dairy farmer who wants to secure their future with a productive, profitable and healthy herd.

Dairy farming

Why invest in your heifers

Heifer genomic testing allows us to understand their ability to be productive and remain healthy. Find out what genomics is and how it can help you accurately select which heifers you want to be the future of your herd. This can result in reduced costs and potentially an improved cash flow. Genomics testing with CLARIFIDE and CLARIFIDE Plus is for every progressive dairy farmer who wants to secure their future with a productive, profitable and healthy herd.

Dairy farming

Why CLARIFIDE Plus is vital for your herd

Heifer genomic testing allows us to understand their ability to be productive and remain healthy. Find out what genomics is and how it can help you accurately select which heifers you want to be the future of your herd. This can result in reduced costs and potentially an improved cash flow. Genomics testing with CLARIFIDE and CLARIFIDE Plus is for every progressive dairy farmer who wants to secure their future with a productive, profitable and healthy herd.

Dairy farming

What is Wellness?

Heifer genomic testing allows us to understand their ability to be productive and remain healthy. Find out what genomics is and how it can help you accurately select which heifers you want to be the future of your herd. This can result in reduced costs and potentially an improved cash flow. Genomics testing with CLARIFIDE and CLARIFIDE Plus is for every progressive dairy farmer who wants to secure their future with a productive, profitable and healthy herd.

Dairy farming

What is Genomics?

Heifer genomic testing allows us to understand their ability to be productive and remain healthy. Find out what genomics is and how it can help you accurately select which heifers you want to be the future of your herd. This can result in reduced costs and potentially an improved cash flow. Genomics testing with CLARIFIDE and CLARIFIDE Plus is for every progressive dairy farmer who wants to secure their future with a productive, profitable and healthy herd.

Dairy farming

Using genomics for breeding decisions

To choose the right animals to drive the future or your herd you need to understand their potential and their ability to stay productive throughout their lifetime. There are a few methods to select animals, but only genomic testing gives you the reliability to know how much potential your animal has and how good her offspring are likely to be. CLARIFIDE consultancy enables you to rank your animals on what is important to you and create a bespoke farm ranking to ensure you are investing in your best.

Dairy farming

How to select Heifers

Heifer genomic testing allows us to understand their ability to be productive and remain healthy. Find out what genomics is and how it can help you accurately select which heifers you want to be the future of your herd. This can result in reduced costs and potentially an improved cash flow. Genomics testing with CLARIFIDE and CLARIFIDE Plus is for every progressive dairy farmer who wants to secure their future with a productive, profitable and healthy herd.

Pig farming

Vaccines: What’s in them and how do they work?

A vaccine stimulates a specific immune response in an animal to give them protection against disease. The way a vaccine does this is by “tricking” the animal into thinking it is being infected, so it makes the appropriate antibodies.

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

Sheep farming


Knowledge sharing is a wonderful thing. Recently we reached out to members of the sheep farming community and invited them to take part in a discussion around the challenges of the spring rise. The response was fantastic. Sheep farmers and industry figures from across the country came together on Twitter to share invaluable insights that are sure to make an impact this spring.

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.

Dairy farming

A step by step guide to your drying off technique for optimum results

Drying off cows using the “best practice” technique reduces the risk of post infusion infection as well as ensuring the antibiotic dry cow tube and teat sealant will work as well as possible for optimum results. Follow our step by step guide.

Sheep farming

The silent epidemic: Protecting your flock from sheep scab

Sheep scab can wreak havoc among your flock and decimate your profits. Unfortunately, the condition can be undetectable until it’s too late. Even worse, the misuse of treatments could lead to resistance. Here’s what you need to know.

Sheep farming

Fact-Checking The Flock: Separating Sheep Fact from Fiction

With over ten thousand years of sheep farming behind us, it’s no surprise that our ovine friends have been the subject of more than a few falsehoods over the years. This article aims to correct a few of those mistruths and replace them with some fascinating facts that even the most seasoned sheep farmer may not have heard of.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming


These days everyone is aware that their data has value. What we do, where we go, our preferences: these are valuable commodities that companies are willing to pay large amounts of money for. While the value of data is well understood by industries, such as retail or tech, is the sheep farming industry using its own data to its full potential?

Pig farming

African Swine Fever

African Swine Fever (ASF) is probably the notifiable disease which is causing the most sleepless nights across the pig industry at the moment; the main reason being that the virus has been moving from east to west across Europe.

A look at how seasonal block calving can benefit your business

In the UK, 81% of dairy farmers identify their herds as All Year Round (AYR) calving1 despite block calving shown to be more cost beneficial for some enterprises. Evidence shows spring block calving herds can produce milk for lower input costs than an AYR herd, saving around 2.1-2.4 pence per litre (ppL)1

The earlier you can get a cow in calf the more days in milk she will have: How to manage a tight calving block

Block calving can have financial benefits compared to all year round (AYR) calving herds when it is managed correctly. However, for block calving to be economical, 90% of your herd needs to calve in six weeks and your entire herd in 12 weeks.

Pig farming

Aujeszky's Disease – Are your pigs and your pets dying?

Aujeszky's is a notifiable disease which hasn’t been seen in Great Britain since 1989, so should we be worried about it?

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, Sheep farming

@Sheep_Farmers and Parasite Watch's first-ever Twitter chat

Parasitic infection costs the UK sheep industry hundreds of millions of pounds each year. Join our Twitter chat to find out how you can protect your farm as well as your flock.

Pig farming

What causes lameness in pigs and does it stop them growing?

There are multiple things that can cause a pig to go lame: It could be injured from riding, injured from fighting, or it may have an infected joint. But those causes often just affect an individual pig. There’s another cause of lameness, a bacteria called Mycoplasma hyosynoviae, which is endemic in the UK pig herd, and commonly causes widespread lameness in pigs.

Pig farming

Tail Biting - what to do when pigs have a taste for tails

Tail biting is one of the most frustrating things a pig farmer has to deal with: It damages pig welfare and profits, and it can be infuriatingly difficult to control! So to understand how best to control it we need to try and understand why it occurs..

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.

Sheep farming


Do you know your gelts from your gimmers? Do you know how to dag, dock and graft? Sheep farming is an industry that’s present all over the world and has a history that spreads back thousands of years. From the old terms to the new, you can be forgiven for sometimes running into a word in the business that leaves you a little stumped. Here’s a glossary to help decipher the terms regularly found in sheep farming.

Sheep farming

5 Instagram Accounts Every Sheep Farmer Should Follow

To help you connect with the latest, greatest sheep farming content on Instagram - and maybe find a little inspiration - we’ve compiled a list of the five accounts you should be following.

Pig farming

Pain relief is important for pig health, welfare and productivity

Most farmers are quite robust characters; they have to be in order to survive the modern day pressures and stresses of farming. The physical nature of the job also means most farmers will have a dodgy back, or a sore hip, or a tender knee.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

The Parasite Watch Farmers’ Stories

Find out how Parasite Watch has helped these farmers over the last three years by helping them detect parasites and sharing that data with UK sheep farmers across the country.

Pneumonia Vaccination in Dairy Heifer Calves

Protecting your dairy heifer calves from respiratory disease is vital when considering the future productivity of your herd. The foundation of every calf’s lifetime performance begins at birth. A calf that doesn’t grow efficiently in the first few weeks of life may never catch-up.

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 reared calves?

How to improve the performance of dairy heifer calves

The performance of your dairy heifers can make all the difference to your bottom line. The first few months of life? They are a critical time for any animal. It’s no different with calves. But did you know that the first two months of a calf’s life can determine their lifetime productivity? Experts can predict how profitable a dairy heifer is likely to be simply by observing its formative weeks. And the healthier your herd is, the more profitable it’s likely to be.

Which vaccines, when? Choosing a vaccination protocol for pneumonia

Once a decision to vaccinate has been made, it’s important to have a vaccination protocol in place and available to all those responsible for vaccinating the animals. It may seem obvious advice for larger units, but even on smaller units it can’t be stressed enough how important clear written protocols are in ensuring mistakes aren’t made.

Dairy farming

Are you taking good care of your vaccines?

Vaccines help protect against disease, keeping livestock healthy and productive. But to do this, they need to be working! Sounds obvious, but if not handled or administered correctly we can either destroy the vaccine or reduce the chance of it being able to work effectively.

Vaccines – What are They and How do they Work?

Vaccines play a vital role in preventing disease and protecting animal health and welfare. Just as when we are unwell we don’t perform to our best, so it is with livestock; keeping cattle healthy helps improve productivity!

Pneumonia Vaccination in Newly Weaned Suckled Calves

Profitable beef production requires a focus on ensuring cattle convert feed into growth as efficiently as possible. Pneumonia can have a significant impact on production, with weight loss both during and after the disease outbreak, and a subsequent reduction in daily liveweight gain.

Beef Rearers: Top tips to overcoming disease challenges

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.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait for an Outbreak of Pneumonia Before Considering Vaccination

Pneumonia is a disease that every farmer who rears calves will most likely have seen, and it’s one of the largest causes of calf mortality. So why is this, when there are respiratory disease vaccines available which can help protect the respiratory health of calves?

Monitoring Dairy Heifer Calf Growth Rates

Measuring heifer growth rates is yet another task to squeeze into a day with too few hours in it already, so it is worth the effort? The simple answer is yes! Various studies have now shown a positive correlation between dairy heifer growth rates in the first two months of life and milk yield. One study found that a 100g increase in average daily gain leads to an extra 225kg of milk produced during a heifer’s first lactation.

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 disease1, and Mycoplasma bovis is not uncommonly isolated from the lungs of pneumonic calves2 so it’s important when controlling youngstock respiratory disease that we understand the role of Mycoplasma bovis.

A guide to feeding dairy youngstock through the winter

As fallen leaves decay and the temperature plummets, you’ll know that farming gets even tougher. Before winter hits it pays to plan ahead to take special care of your youngstock’s feeding regime. Looking after your calves is the key to the future of your business. And, much like your adult cows, youngstock benefit from a smooth transition to winter feeding.

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.

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?

Sheep farming

10 Tremendous sheep farmers to follow on Twitter

Social media is not just fantastic for sharing insight and networking within the industry, it also helps to raise the profile of the job beyond the confines of those who work in agriculture. Thankfully there are plenty of users on Twitter who are doing a great job advocating the sheep farming industry through thought-provoking and engaging content. Here are a few of our favourites.

Pig farming

Sow vaccines: How do they protect piglets?

At the Pig and Poultry Fair a producer came to the Zoetis stand to ask me “Can you develop a vaccine that you could give to the sow, that would protect her entire litter all the way until slaughter?”

Sheep farming

Be prepared to give mid-summer fluke treatment to sheep

Acute fluke in sheep is expected to be a risk earlier this summer following the wet winter. This makes a mid-summer treatment vital to prevent significant losses . Despite the brief cold snap seen at the start of the year, it is expected the mud snail, which is the fluke’s intermediate host, will have thrived in the damp and wet conditions. This means there will be a build-up of infective metacercariae on many pastures, which develop into immature fluke when ingested. As a result, it is expected that there will be an earlier risk of immature fluke in grazing sheep this year, which can lead to death when not treated.

Pig farming

PRRS Pillar Number Four: Vaccination

There are four pillars of PRRS control. You must apply all four in order to successfully control PRRS. In this blog we discuss how diagnostics and monitoring can be used to help with PRRS control.

Pig farming

PRRS: Four Small Letters, One Big Problem!

There are four pillars of PRRS control. You must apply all four in order to successfully control PRRS. In this blog we discuss how diagnostics and monitoring can be used to help with PRRS control.

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.

Sheep farming

‘Cocci’: a common suspect in lamb diarrhoea

Coccidiosis is caused by a very small parasite called Protozoa. A Protozoa is only made of a single cell. There are lots of different types of Protozoa; the one which causes Coccidiosis in sheep is called Eimeria. You may find up to 15 different species of Eimeria in lambs.

Sheep farming

How to prevent the most successful parasite in the world from infecting your flock

Toxoplasma is not a fussy parasite: it will happily infect any warm-blooded animal, even humans! In fact one third of the human population have toxoplasma cysts in their body. Most infected animals and people show little reaction to being infected, but it can cause serious problems in pregnant sheep, goats and women.

Sheep farming

Improving ewe fertility – improving profits

With the global demand for lamb increasing by a potential two and a half million tonnes by 2020, UK sheep farmers have to be in a position to take a share of this opportunity. Improved lamb survival and ensuring there is a no stragglers policy will obviously aid with this. There is, however, a large potential improvement by targeting ewe fertility to ensure a consistent lamb crop

Pig farming

Do your pigs need blankets? How temperature can affect your pig’s productivity

Pigs are naked, they have little hair and only some fat to keep them warm. So put yourselves in their position, after all without clothes we are similarly insulated (no comments on individual hairiness or personal P2 levels please!). Basically would you be comfortable (thermally!) in the pig housing without any clothing on to trap your body heat? If the answer is no, you might need to address the building management.

Pig farming

Spring-Time Glässers: When the days are warm and the nights are not!

Glässers Disease can be found up the nose of most pigs, it’s caused by a bacterium called Haemophilus parasuis (HPS). HPS doesn’t normally cause any problems until the pigs are stressed. The classic stress is a sudden change in temperature, and this is why you often see Glässers Disease in the autumn when you have the first frosts, or in the spring when you get warm days followed by chilly nights.

Sheep farming

Nematodirus mass hatch warning as weather warms up

Sheep farmers are being urged to monitor Nematodirus risks on their farm with hatching expected to start within the next week. Warm spring weather has finally arrived and will bring with it a mass hatch of the infective larval stage of Nematodirus. These will have overwintered on pastures waiting for temperatures to regularly exceed 10oC

Pig farming

Guide to PRRS

PRRS is probably the most economically important disease in pig farming. But there are ways to control and prevent PRRS outbreaks. You can find out how by downloading our PRRS guide here.

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!

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Treat parasites according to risk, not by time of the year

With no two years the same when it comes to parasite activity, farmers need to be aware of what is happening on their farm and take appropriate action based on the risk, rather than the time of year in order to prevent costly production losses.

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.

Pig farming

PRRS: Four Small Letters, One Big Problem!

There are four pillars of PRRS control. You must apply all four in order to successfully control PRRS. In this section, we talk about herd management and how, if done properly, it can reduce the risk of PRRS and therefore increase productivity!

Pig farming

PRRS Pillar Number One: Biosecurity

There are four pillars of PRRS control and to successfully control PRRS – you must apply all of them!

Sheep farming

Controlling the spring rise

The spring rise is the relaxation of immunity around lambing. It allows ewe egg output to increase from overwintered worms, which contaminate the pastures and affects lambs.
Controlling the spring rise is an important part of parasite management in a flock.

Sheep farming

Liver fluke in sheep: Video series

Liver fluke in sheep is a threat that can quickly progress to become a big problem for you and your flock.


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 sheep farmer needs an effective quarantine procedure

Without a quarantine procedure, you risk infecting your flock with resistant parasites and other diseases. What this could do to your profits doesn’t bear thinking about. Here’s how to set up a simple, effective quarantine process for new or returning sheep.

Sheep farming


Quarantining your sheep is a staple for this time of year. It's so easy for diseases like worm, scab and other diseases to get in and out of your flock, that isolating incoming and returning stock could really benefit your farm.

Sheep farming

Parasite Watch 2017: Save money by spotting worm risks early.

Detection of parasites has been incredibly valuable for farmers involved in the Zoetis Parasite Watch Scheme this year.

Sheep farming


A ram’s health and virility are closely linked. When your rams are healthy and productive, your entire business, and bottom line, reaps the benefits. Here’s how to make tupping season feel less like a lottery.

How to successfully prevent udder infections after drying off

Recent research has found the link between infection during the dry cow period and subsequent clinical mastitis and elevated somatic cell counts (SCC) in early lactation. We have created a list of 10 steps that will help you make the necessary changes to your dry cow management process.

Pig farming


When vets aren’t specialised in pigs, the diseases of our porky friends are quickly forgotten about after University. Erysipelas is often the exception; but why do they still recall Erysipelas? Because everyone remembers that picture of a pig with Diamonds on its skin! It’s a pretty classic sign that vets, agricultural students and pig stockmen are all taught about – the raised red lesions, often in the shape of a diamond that you see on the skin of a pig which has Erysipelas. Now I hate to disappoint those of you that remember that picture, but the lesions aren’t always diamond shape: sometimes they are round, randomly shaped, or even just blotches. And to disappoint you further you can have Erysipelas issues without seeing skin lesions.

Sheep farming

4 simple ways to improve ewe fertility

When it comes to your flock, you don’t need us to tell you that healthier pregnancies tend to result in healthier profits. Here are four tried and tested methods for improving ewe fertility to ensure a successful lambing season.

Pig farming

Have You Got The Flu? The Dangers of having flu in pigs.

Bird flu caused some major issues for the poultry industry last winter with movement restrictions and horrible scenes of culling. But why is pig flu not taken as seriously?

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.

Pig farming


As an industry we are obsessed with figures: Pigs weaned per sow per year, Replacement Rates, Farrowing Rates, Mortality, Average Daily Gain (ADG) etc. But the most financially important of these figures, if you finish your pigs, is Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR).

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming


As the year progresses, it’s time to start thinking about the autumn parasite challenges, we’ve seen some very high worm egg counts this year which could continue into the tupping season. Continuation of the current warm, wet weather could result in us seeing an earlier fluke challenge too.

What is #LensLeg and can it save your life on the farm?

National Farm Safety Week prompted farmers to share practical tips about health and safety on the farm, but the Twitter conversation adopted a bit of a funny hashtag... here’s why.

Pig farming


Boar Taint is a controversial subject. Some people say it is not an issue at all, and others say it is the biggest challenge to meat quality. Dr Laura Hancox shares a recent experience at the Pigs 2022 conference where sensory perception is indeed a tale of two halves.

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


Results from farms involved in the Zoetis Parasite Watch scheme shows that areas which have seen warm and dry weather followed by sudden wet weather, such as South West Scotland and Wales have seen a rise in worm egg counts.

Pig farming

Neonatal Diarrhoea: Piglets, the Great Blank Canvas

The piglet is a blank canvas ready to be populated. We want the piglet to get “Friendly Bacteria” (as the yoghurt adverts say!), but if the “Bad Bacteria” get in before the “Friendly Bacteria” then you get diarrhoea. See how you can prevent this.

Sheep farming

INFOGRAPHIC: How to control flies around your flock

Flies aren’t just a nuisance, they also carry diseases, bite and irritate your flock for much of the year. But here's the good news; you can stop them from taking a bite out of your farm’s profits.Take a look at our infographic to learn why you should tackle flies early and how to do it.

Sheep farming

Parasite Watch Update: Mixed worm infestation makes faecal egg counting critical

Sheep farmers are being advised to find out what the worm challenge is on their farm after farms across the country reported mixed infestations from faecal egg counts. Read more on how Parasite Watch is continuing to give informed choices to farms across the UK.

Pig farming


Laura Hancox continues her discussion the best way to clean pig success!

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!

Sheep farming


Sheep farmers can now see first-hand the cost of using the wrong wormer on their farm thanks to a free app and online tool. The Sheep Drench Cost Calculator will help farmers, in conjunction with their advisors, decide which wormers to use on their farm.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Parasite Watch update: Stomach worms cause early challenge as weather warms up

Faecal egg counts taken in April from farms across the country involved in the Parasite Watch scheme have been showing some heavy challenges from stomach worms.

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.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

The Nematodirosis risk

Nematodirus can cause explosive outbreaks of disease and even death amongst young grazing lambs.

Pig farming

Post Weaning Diarrhoea: What else do we have in our arsenal?

After weaning, a pig’s guts are in a very delicate balancing act. The stress of weaning makes their intestines more “leaky” letting toxins in and leaking fluid out. Finding the most suitable balance can be tricky, Laura Hancox explains more.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

To act or not to act: Putting real-time parasite risks on the map

The Parasite Watch scheme run by Zoetis, is now in its second year. The 18 farms involved in the scheme will have faecal samples taken every two weeks, which will help detect major stomach worms and Nematodirus.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

The 2017 worm threat: It's unpredictable

For most areas of the UK, feedback suggests that last year was one with low to moderate roundworm burdens. Where this was identified using good diagnostics, economies from using fewer wormer treatments were possible with manageable risk rather than a fingers crossed approach.

Pig farming


Weaning is commonly thought to be the most stressful event in the life of a pig, so what steps can you take to minimise piglet stress at weaning? And how can you reduce the chances of a costly check in growth?

Pig farming

The Key to Solving your Coughing Problem!

A pig with a cough is not a simple creature. A pig with a cough can have one, two, three or more diseases!

Pig farming

Is PCV still causing problems in your pigs?

The Disease that Nearly Killed the UK Industry – and it’s probably still lurking in your pigs!!

Will you be vaccinating your cattle against leptospirosis this spring?

It’s easy to forget the potential losses from disease when disease control programmes are working. And that’s when it can be tempting to look at reducing costs by removing the cost of vaccines for diseases you’re no longer seeing. Probably because the vaccines are working! So when you’re deciding whether or not to take that gamble you need to look again at what that gamble is.

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.

Sheep farming

Controlling worms in sheep: The Spring Rise

Parasitic gastroenteritis is the primary production limiting disease of sheep in the UK. The Spring Rise is a relaxation of immunity in the ewe around the period of lambing.

Sheep farming

How to treat footrot in sheep

Footrot is one of the main causes of lameness in sheep, but what is the cost and what are the treatments available?

Sheep farming

A Guide on Preparing for Lambing Success

Lamb losses are detrimental to farm profits. Most occur during pregnancy, or in the first week of life and there are common culprits. The reasons for loss should be monitored and recorded, to target reductions up to the point of sale.

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.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Clostridia Disease – How to Vaccinate and Protect Against It

Clostridial diseases have been a livestock issue for hundreds of years and affect species all around the world. Unfortunately, sudden death is often the first sign a farmer will see that clostridia are present. Find out which are the most common clostridia and how to vaccinate against them.

Sheep farming

Sheep Lice: The chewing insect affecting your flock

Lice are dependent on a host for their survival. When your sheep become the host, lice can spread quickly and rapidly between them. They irritate a sheep’s skin and can lead to weight loss, but also reduce the value of the wool. If you want to successfully treat them, accurate diagnosis is vital.

Metritis: forgotten about your fresh cows?

Up to 40% of cows will develop metritis after calving – early identification and treatment will improve future fertility and production.

Store Lambs: How to maximise your returns

Good growth rates and productivity results in a healthy profit. However, the cost of finishing lambs can sometimes outweigh the financial gain. This means that on some occasions sheep farmers are better off to sell lambs as stores and not finish them on their farm. Find out how to weigh up the pros and cons of selling and rearing stores.

Mooving in: square up to winter and win with our new competition

The best price in the world is free, isn’t it? And - correct us if we’re wrong - but getting free goodies for stuff you’re already doing is an even sweeter deal. This stuff we speak of? Preparing to move your cows indoors for the winter.

Infographic: Sheep Scab – The Microscopic £8.3m Mite

Sheep scab is caused by the mite Psoroptes ovis, a non-burrowing, surface-feeding mite, costing the UK sheep industry annually around £8.3 million, find out more in our infographic.

Winter Feeding: A guide to feeding adult dairy cows through winter

You can feel the chill in the 5am air. Winter is coming. And that means it’s time to forward-plan your adult dairy herd’s winter feeding regimes.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Sheep Quarantine: 5 Key Tips

If new or returning sheep are not quarantined it is not only a disease risk but can also waste your time and money. Resistant worms are then much more likely to be introduced to your flock with incoming animals and your usual treatments may not kill them.

Selective dry cow therapy: where do I start?

Selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) is a decision made at dry off about whether your cows receive antibiotic dry cow therapy (ADCT) in addition to a teat sealant such as OrbeSeal.

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.

Sheep farming

Ram MOT's: How to achieve peak performance & maximise profitability

Rather than wait to see how your ram performs at tupping time, give him a ram MOT beforehand. A surprisingly high number of rams that appear to be healthy experience problems during the mating season. Yet many of these issues can be ironed out in advance.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Infographic: Cost of Fluke in Sheep

Fluke in sheep is a threat to more than an individual farm. This parasitic worm is extremely well adapted and can be deadly, but the wider impact of infection could cost the UK agricultural industry up to £300m every year.

Sheep farming

Preparation for Tupping: How to achieve a high lambing yield

Farmers want a high lambing percentage to increase profits, but poor planning can lead to poor performance. For success this tupping season be sure to read our post!

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

STARTECT: The Importance of Dual Active Wormers

Efficient sheep production relies on effective resistance management. Until this is part of a robust flock plan; money is being wasted all over the country. The reality is that most, if not all, UK sheep farms will already have some worms that carry resistance genes affecting production.

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.

Sheep farming

Marketing Lambs: How to get the best price for your lambs

How do you get the best price for your lambs? Focus on the buyer. Deliver what they want, when they want it and you’ll make the greatest financial return on your flock.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

STARTECT®: Discover the website and a chance to win an iPad Mini!

If you’re a farmer, vet or animal health advisor working in the sheep farming industry the new Zoetis STARTECT® website is for you. The site is full of materials to help you in the fight against worm resistance, including educational videos, and useful information on the benefits of dual active wormers. All of the reference materials and advice is free to access.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming


Flies are not only an annoyance to your flock; they also spread diseases and cost you money. Often most types of fly arrive at the same time every year, which means you could outsmart them. Find out which flies are prevalent when and how to best keep these pests under control.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Infographic: Cost of Worm Resistance in Sheep

Did you know worm resistance costs the UK sheep farming industry £84 million every year? Find out why this is the case and how you can stop it by reading our infographic below.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

NSA Sheep Event 2016: Our Experience

Whilst we all enjoy the Great British Summer, our team made the journey to attend the National Sheep Association’s NSA Sheep 2016 event at the three counties show ground in Worcestershire. With a multitude of stands filled with things from feed to shearers, weighing equipment to drenches – it was always going to be a fantastic day for attendees. This was the case for our team on the Zoetis stand as our team spoke to so many hundreds of farmers throughout the day, mainly about our dual active Knockout drench: STARTECT.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Two Knockout Drench options, but only one dual-active

Of the two wormers suitable for use as a Knockout Drench in lambs, vet Dave Armstrong points out that the group five product STARTECT® is the only dual-active treatment.

Sheep farming


If you think ahead for a minute to the time when most of this year's lamb crop will have been sold, what are the chances that you'll have a small but embarrassing group of stragglers that refuse to reach saleable condition?

What is the AHDB Healthy Feet Programme?

Lame cows cost money. The Dairy Healthy Feet Programme systematically reduces lameness in herds - for cows that are happier, healthier and more productive.


Drying off cows using the “best practice” technique means that they are at less risk of post infusion infection and that the antibiotic dry cow tube and teat sealant are going to work as well as possible for optimum results.

Pig farming


The link between pig health and building ventilation is really important. When your pigs breathe easy, there’s a better chance you can too.

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.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Parasite Watch Update – June 2016

Welcome to the very first Parasite Watch update; the free service keeping UK sheep farmers up-to-date. Read the latest news from around the country.

Sheep farming

#Lambing16: Key Stories From The Season (Part 3)

Hello all and welcome to the Livestock Farming blog. This post is the final part of a 3-part series about #Lambing16, with our guest sheep farmers Jodi, James, Gillian & Ian, and Rachel & Shaun who are farmers from various areas of the UK. This final post of the series is about the farmers looking forward to #Lambing17 and what they will do differently given what they’ve learned.

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

#Lambing16: Key Stories From The Season (Part 2)

This post is the second part of our 3-part series about #Lambing16. Sharing their experiences, we have Jodi, James, Gillian & Ian, and Rachel & Shaun. This week’s post is a rollercoaster of emotions with the shepherds and shepherdesses sharing their best and worst moments of #Lambing16.

Pig farming

What are the benefits of same-sex finishing pens for piglets?

Pig farming is a complex industry. Small changes can often make a big difference to long-term profitability.

Pig farming

A blog for UK pig farmers

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

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.

Sheep farming

#Lambing16: Key Stories from the Season (Part 1)

This post is one of a 3-part series about #Lambing16, with sheep farmers from around the UK sharing their stories and experiences. As guests we have Jodi, James, Gillian & Ian, and Rachel & Shaun who are farmers from various areas of the UK – including a remotes island!

#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.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Parasite Watch farmer seeks evidence-based decisions

The first treatment decision prompted by Parasite Watch for Alan Smellie near Peebles was to do nothing at all. On account of the mild wet winter and good number of ewes spending time on known high fluke risk ground, his 1,200 ewes were tested for liver fluke before lambing.

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.

TotalDairy Seminar 2016

If you don’t have tickets yet for the 2016 TotalDairy Seminar, you’re in with the wrong herd. A longstanding and popular event, TotalDairy Seminar routinely attracts renowned farming experts from all over the world.

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.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Watch out for Nematodirosis

Parasitic gastro-enteritis (PGE) (worm scours) will affect all lambs to a greater or lesser degree and as such are a key concern for sheep farmers everywhere. It can be caused by many different worm species, but the two most important in the UK are Teladorsagia circumcincta and Nematodirus battus.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming


A change in season can bring with it a potentially deadly disease for sheep. We inspect the mud snails that host parasitic fluke to reveal when an attack is most likely and how to spot the signs.

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.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

Introducing Parasite Watch: a free service for UK sheep farmers

Parasite Watch: the free service from Zoetis, keeping UK sheep farmers up-to-date with the latest news and forecasts of parasites affecting your flock.

Parasite Watch, Sheep farming

The Unpredictable 2016 Sheep Parasite Threat

2015 was a great year for farmers. Get complacent though and you will quickly discover the severe parasite threat that the UK can expect for 2016. Check the news here to see how Zoetis will keep you up-to-date.

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

Poultry Farming

Parasite Watch