National Youngstock Conference: 20th July
The second National Youngstock Conference will be held at Harper Adams University on Thursday July 20th, 2023 - it’s a date that should be firmly in the diaries of all producers and calf rearers looking to develop their knowledge and youngstock management skills.
The conference has been designed to cater for all levels of experience and knowledge, with a series of practical seminars, and speakers set to talk about the latest developments in cattle breeding, nutrition and health.
Haywood Farm Vets have subsidised tickets for our clients and these are available at £20 each + VAT. Click on the link below to get yours and we will see you there!
Sunshine & heifers with sunburn
A reminder that we're heading towards peak UV levels and you might find the odd case of sunburn in your heifers, especially if they've been grazing aftermath and rooting in hedges or around headlands.
Watch out for:
- Intensely irritated animals
- Shade seeking under hedges
- Stamping feet or "colicky"
- Not eating or drinking
- Ulcerated nose
- Wrinkled and hardened white skin
- Peeling skin (see photo below)
Any affected animals will need anti-inflammatory ASAP and keeping inside, away from direct light until the skin has healed.
What causes photosensitivity?
1. PRIMARY: eating plants such as St Johns Wort - this contains Hypericin; a pigment that is carried in the blood in the skin and reacts with UV light causing massive skin cell death in all white areas
2. SECONDARY: liver damage from Fluke, abscesses or Ragwort toxicity means the liver cannot filter normal toxins out of the blood and they accumulate in the skin and react with UV light - again causing skin cell death in white areas.
3. GENETIC: reported in Holstein, Limousin and Blonde d'Aquitaine cattle
Drying off tips: cleanliness & hygiene
There are lots of cows being dried off as we head towards summer calving!
Below is a video from AHDB with vet James Breen showing how to safely administer sealants +/- antibiotic tubes at dry off:
- Ideally cows need to be giving less than 15 litres at dry off
- Don't do any other jobs with the cow on dry off day e.g foot trimming
- It's tricky to get hygiene right if you are drying cows off during milking - best to separate them out and dry them off as a separate event once the parlour has been washed down
- Always wear a clean set of gloves, and keep them clean - the last cow needs the same level of hygiene as the first cow!
- Make sure all cows getting dry cow antibiotic are clearly marked as treated, ideally in two ways in case a tail tape falls off
- Always use a pre-dip and give it at least 30 seconds contact time then dry wipe this off before you start
- Always use surgical spirit and separate cotton wool swabs to clean each teat and then flip the cotton wool over and concentrate on the end of the teat
- Always clean "front to back" so front teats then back teats
- If you're using antibiotic dry cow tubes, always tube "back to front" so back teats first then front teats
- If there has been any muck contamination of the teats, get more cotton wool soaked in surgical spirit and clean front teats then back teats again before using your sealant
- Always seal "back to front" so back teats first then front teats
- Remember when you're using sealant to pinch the teat at the top so you're filling the teat and the sealant isn't leaking up into the udder
- With ALL tubes, make sure you only "partially insert" the tube - this causes less damage to the muscles at the teat end
- Never put any tubes in warm water - regardless of how cold a day it is!
- Once the sealant is in, dip all teats with a post-dip making sure the whole teat is covered
- Let the cows stand for at least 30 mins on clean concrete
- Keep a close eye on cows for the first few days after dry off