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Business News
While we are fast approaching the end of the year that
we would like to see the back of, we are also entering an
important period for beef and dairy farmers. We have cows
in late and early lactation on some farm whereas some
beef farms are now housing cattle, especially bulls, as grass
quality is now not sufficient to maintain these animals.
Entering the final 2 months of lactation, we should be
looking at the body condition score of the cow. While some
farms have fed extra concentrates and silage during the
drought others will have ceased feeding silage too early to
understandably reduce costs and conserve it. It is important
that we get cows in to BCS 3 at least before the dry period
as it is more efficient to do so now with any extra milk being
more valuable.
As cattle and especially bulls come into the houses we
need to have a plan in place to make sure they reach their
potential. Some of the greatest gains in animal value are still
to be made inside the farm gate. The main areas of this plan
are outlined below and can be kept very simple to coincide
with your diet, cattle type and farm setup.
1. Plan for arrival and adaption - This involves the fast but
proper introduction of feed as well as a herd health
plan. Most of the benefits you achieve at the end of the
finishing period are created at the beginning.
2. Water availability ­ While we all realise its importance,
we sometimes overlook the finer detail of flow rate,
trough size, positioning and hygiene
3. Suitable Housing ­ Having the house fit for purpose
when it comes to group sizes, feed space, ventilation
4. Balanced nutritional Diet ­Have your diet balanced by
a nutritionist to create the ideal levels of protein, energy
and minerals to maximse the efficient use of your feed.
This is important this year as feed shortage will mean
possible new ingredients in the diet.
5. Rumen Health Plan ­ Whether you are feeding ad lib
or a TMR do you have plan in place to avoid acidosis.
Based on research in Ireland and the UK, Yea-Sacc can
improve live weight gain by 10% through better rumen
health. Your feed merchant can include this in the feed.
6. Consistent diet ­ Is the diet that you have formulated on
paper the actual diet that the animals eat. The primary
role of InTouch is to make sure this happens.
7. Mold free feeds ­ Molds and mycotoxins in feeds and
forages can cause anything from poor thrive to death of
animals with rumen health and feet issues in between.
Care needs to be taken to avoid feeding this material
and looking at the possibility of a mycotoxin binder
being used.
So, in summary, monitor the condition of you dairy cows
and rectify now and if you are finishing cattle, make sure
you have a plan so that you can give them best but safe start
using a well-balanced consistent diet.
New vaccine launched
to help in the fight
against calf pneumonia
BovaltoŽ Respi Intranasal has been launched by
Boehringer Ingelheim ­ an intranasal vaccine for calves
that can be used from 10 days of age. According to a
spokesperson in Boehringer Ingelheim, this new product
offers farmers more choice and the opportunity to
protect very young calves. "2018 marks the final phase
of a five-year AMR strategy (antimicrobial resistance)
project which the farming industry, vets and policy
makers have been part of with the aim of looking
at how to best meet agreed AMR commitments. A
fantastic start was made with a 27 per cent reduction in
antibiotic use in farm animals recorded in the two years
to October 2017. Following this, RUMA (Responsible
Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance) sector-
specific targets, which were published in late 2017 gave
clear areas of focus for farmers, vets and advisors."
"For the dairy sector, calf rearing was identified
as a `hot spot' of treatment and a stage in the
animal's life where antibiotics could be used
more appropriately and vaccination more widely
integrated into herd management protocols.
Similarly, the calf stage for the beef sector was
also singled out as another `hot spot' with bovine
respiratory disease (BRD) an area to focus on."
"The levels of BRD vaccine being used each
year is growing but, as a management tool,
vaccination remains quite low down the list of
actions, according to the 2017 Calfmatters survey,"
remarks Matt Yarnall of Boehringer Ingelheim.
Bovalto Respi Intranasal protects against the two
main respiratory viruses ­ RSV and PI3, and during
its development it was tested against the strains that
are causing disease in stock currently. Bovalto Respi
Intranasal is delivered as a single shot, from 10 days of
age and provides immunity for 12 weeks, from 10 days
after vaccination. It has also been shown to be effective
in the face of MDA (maternally derived antibodies).