We have a new vet with us for the next few months, Charlotte Chapman, to help us through the spring period as Conor Reilly has decided to move and concentrate on small animal work only. Charlotte qualified in 2016 and has gained experience working in different parts of the country, and is happy working with both farm and small animals. She is also able to TB test so you may find her coming to do a test for you. You may also see a familiar face as Andrew Doull will be also helping us out on an occasional basis when he is free.
For those of you who are farm assured under Red Tractor, there is a new requirement to have attended a course on the responsible use of medicines. We held 2 meetings in December and have another 2 arranged for February. These are on Tuesday 11th February at the café at Ulverston Auction Mart and Wednesday 19th February at Grizebeck Village Hall. Both meetings will start at 7.30pm and please contact the office to book a place. Cost is £25 + VAT per farm and refreshments will be provided.
The aim of the course is to provide you with information on the safe, proper and legal use of medicines, to try and reduce the amount of antibiotics that are used on your animals and so reduce the risk of residues in both milk and meat. You should also be aware of the importance of using products that are licensed for use in either cattle or sheep and in what cases. We have had a few cases recently where animals have been treated inappropriately, including antibiotics being given to a lame cow which didn’t get any better. She had a broken femur! Another cow was treated for a swelling on her eye which was a tumour of the eyelid. Both these animals had been treated needlessly and ended up being sent to fallen stock. If we had been involved at the start there would have been the option to arrange for casualty slaughter with the possibility of some financial return. What about animal welfare—was this even considered before the treatment was given? The simple message is if you don’t know exactly what is wrong with the animal then don’t treat it but give us a ring instead.
Continuing on the theme of antibiotic usage we found a lot of farmers were able to reduce the amount of Spectam Scourhalt and Orojet given to newborn lambs by paying more attention to hygiene and ensuring they receive enough colostrum. Single lambs should receive enough colostrum and so not need antibiotic and lambs born in the first 2-3 weeks of lambing before the infection starts to build up in the pens should also be low risk and not need treating. If you managed to successfully reduce usage last year then try and reduce it further this year—if a ewe with twin lambs has plenty of milk then ensure they get it and they won’t need treating. Colostrum substitutes are available with one of the best products being Lamaid.
In preparation for lambing have you got your essentials in stock—calcium, lubrel and twin lamb drench?
We are still having problems sourcing a quantity of medicines that we use. Mastitis tubes are one of the most difficult to obtain, with Tetra Delta and Synulox currently not available. We have also been advised that the production of Ubro Yellow will be stopped this spring. We currently have Ubrolexin and Mastiplan in stock. If you cannot get the tubes you have been using successfully then we advise that you take a clean sterile sample from any cows that have mastitis before you treat them. You should label it with the cow’s number and date the sample was taken and it can then be put in the freezer. If she doesn’t respond to treatment then we can send this sample to the lab to find out which bacteria is causing the problems and which antibiotic will work.
We have also been notified of a change to Ubro Red tubes using at drying off. These will now be called Ubrostar Red as there has been a slight change in the type of penicillin in them. These should only be used in cows with a dry period of 35 days or more. If the dry period is less than 35 days then the milk must be kept out of the tank for 37 days after treatment.
Huskvac orders can now be taken to protect your replacement heifers against lungworm. Remember 2 doses should be given 4 weeks apart, the first dose from 8 weeks of age and the second at least 4 weeks before turnout.