Disease? Not On My Farm! Ambassador Blog
Too busy not to - what?
As lockdown restrictions have made meeting on farm problematic, our Disease? Not On My Farm! ambassadors have been staying in regular contact over Zoom. Keeping in touch with each other has been incredibly important over the past months and sharing information, tips and best practise continues to have beneficial outcomes.
During a quarterly virtual roundtable meeting, we asked the ambassadors to tell us about their top priorities.
What are the protocols and routines that no matter how busy you are, you never risk skipping and why?
“To get the youngstock to their growth targets, it’s critical to get worm management right from first turn-out to calving. Otherwise, you end up with animals that are sub-standard throughout their life.”
“Regular cattle foot trimming and bathing is key. As the margins disappear, you may try to save money by not trimming regularly – but it comes back to bite you.”
“Johnes testing – I think any dairy farmer who wasn’t testing every three months, looking at trends and identifying red cows would have a massive problem. Knowing your BVD status is just as important.”
Beef and Sheep
“Vaccinate! You’ll pay the price if you don’t. Even in the peak of lambing time, I must get cattle vaccinations done – even if it means getting someone in to cover in the lambing shed.”
“Seeing my brother-in-law losing 20% of his calves to scour when he kept them inside during the Beast from the East reinforced the need for our scour vaccination. It assured me that we were doing the right thing – we didn’t treat a single calf that year and most years we don’t.”
“We could never afford to get rid of our orf vaccines. In the past we’ve had horrendous bouts of orf and I think we’d be in a mess if we missed it one year.”
“We bolus the cows, which works for our system and gives us peace of mind. We vaccinate the ewes against clostridial diseases and pasteurellosis which is an absolute must. And regular blood testing is also vital.”
“One thing I couldn't farm without is vaccinating for footrot, I don't like lame ewes, they are unprofitable, unproductive and they infect the lambs."
“… eat dinner! I can manage without breakfast, and I don't mind working late and then having tea. But I really can't miss dinner time!”
“We’ll definitely be vaccinating the ewes for toxo and enzo this time, after an abortion problem with our yearling ewes."
Thanks to our ambassadors for sharing their insights with us. From preventative health protocols to self-care measures, it seems there are some routines that are absolutely essential for keeping your herd / flock productive and your business healthy.
Why not share what you’re ‘too busy not to….’ @notonmyfarm