In line with most other businesses we are planning to introduce a credit charge on any account which is outstanding for 60 days. This will be implemented from 1st January 2013, which will allow those of you with an outstanding balance 3 months to settle the overdue fees before the charge is applied. This will not in any way affect any of you who pay the balance in full every month, either by cheque or BACS. In the near future then the credit charge will be applied to all accounts not paid within 30 days.
By now most dairy cows will be receiving silage which is necessary to maintain body condition and milk yield as well as prevent a sudden change in diet when cows are fully housed. Remember that to achieve optimum rumen function then an adequate supply of long fibre is essential, either in the form of silage or chopped straw. Over reliance on cake can result in ruminal acidosis and subsequently laminitis and lameness in your cows.
However, it is essential that new calved cows receive enough concentrate to satisfy their energy requirements to ensure maximum milk production and give her the best chance of getting back in calf again. Consider body condition scoring your cows every month, especially those recently calved— if they lose too much weight in early lactation then their fertility will also be adversely affected. Remember to look after their feet as well when they are laid in; use plenty of bedding on the cubicles to encourage the cows to lie down as much as possible, reducing pressure on their feet and so the risk of solar ulcers developing. Mastitis can also be a problem around housing, keep cows and cubicles as clean as possible and continue to pay attention to milking routine. An unexpected rise in cell count may be the only indicator of things starting to go wrong.
We are happy to offer help and advice if you have a problem.
Liver fluke is expected to be a major problem on farms this year after another summer of higher than average rainfall. There is real concern of deaths in sheep due to acute fluke disease, and if you have problems with fluke on your farm then the advice is to treat now with a product that will kill immature fluke stages—triclabendazole.
As you have probably heard there is increasing concern regarding resistance to this drug. This can be investigated by doing a post mortem examination on any sheep that you find dead. As the year progresses you may be able to use different products to delay the development of resistance on your farm.
We are able to offer independent advice on the best products, remembering that a change in name may not actually mean you are using a different drug. Cattle will also need treating which can be done at or after housing, again depending on which product you are using. Don’t waste time and money selecting a drug which will not be the best one!
- Rispoval 4 in1 vaccine for cattle to help control viral pneumonia—calves need 2 doses 4 weeks apart, with the second dose ideally being given 2 weeks before housing.
- Are your suckler cows in calf? We can give you the answer so you don’t have to feed a geld cow all winter. Phone now to arrange a scanning session.
- Are your tups all working? If you are unsure of them we can examine them and collect a semen sample to see how good it is, giving you an idea of his fertility.
- Don’t forget to vaccinate your ewes before tupping time to try and reduce the number of abortions.
- All purchased sheep should be dosed on arrival and yarded for 24-48 hours to reduce the risk of resistant worms arriving on your farm. We are able to dispense small quantities of ‘ZOLVIX’, one of the new group or wormers to enable you to do this.