In this issue…

Calf Housing for Health & Welfare Grant - top tips

Calf Milk Replacer - what's in the bag

Orange Market License Changes from 2nd October 2023

High Risk for Worms - free testing available

Team HFV Update: Kaz and baby Albie!

Bovalto Intranasal - now available in individual doses

Selekt stomach pump servicing: Nov 1st

Calf Housing for Health & Welfare Grant - top tips

The UK government is currently offering a grant to improve calf housing:

The minimum grant is for £15,000 (40% on an investment of £37,500) up to £500,000 per applicant. Part of the grant application is to discuss the proposed calf housing with your vet and you'll need a letter from your vet to submit your application - this can be done as part of your Animal Health & Welfare Review alongside your BVD testing. The applications for this close on 30th November 2023.

Project Requirements:

  • Must only house calves under 6 months old
  • Can include investment into existing sheds, or investment into new calf housing
  • Housing must be designed so calves are not in individual pens beyond 7 days old
  • Housing must be designed to keep the temperature suitable for calves

Housing Spec Must-have's:

Space requirements: Includes the bedded laying area, standing area and feeding and drinking areas

  • Minimum floor area of 3m² per calf for calves under 100kg
  • Minimum floor area of 4m² per calf for calves between 100kg and 150kg
  • Minimum floor area of 5m² per calf for calves heavier than 150kg

Flooring: Must have solid, concrete flooring

Flooring: Must be sloped with a 1 in 20 (5%) gradient in bedded areas, which slopes towards a drain or drainage channel

Bedding: Must have cereal straw bedding

Walls: Must have permanent external calf height walls to protect from draughts - these must be at least 1.2m high

Play: Must include at least one enrichment item for every pair or group of calves (hanging balls or static brushes)

Air quality monitoring: Must include temperature and humidity sensor data loggers to record and store data

Lights: Must have fitted, artificial lighting at a minimum of 50 lumen for each square metre.

Electrics: Must include at least 2 waterproof IP66 electrical sockets, 1 located at each end of the building

Isolation pen: Must have facilities within the building to temporarily isolate sick calves (for example, a temporary pen erected in an existing pen to isolate a sick calf)

Solar panels: Housing must have a roof that can support solar panels (you can claim 25% funding for solar panels)

Building Type:

A Frame: Provide a more controlled environment but tube ventilation is a must.

Monopitch: 1 open side with the long wall protecting against prevailing wind. Generally better ventilation but can be bigger temperature changes. Will need tube ventilation if a sheltered site.

Permanent Veranda with Igloo: Only suitable for a sheltered or partially sheltered site and igloos must be sited not to face prevailing wind

Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV) "tube ventilation"

Calves aren't big enough to generate enough heat to cause air to rise (the "stack effect") and circulate/ventilate a shed so you will need to manually ventilate the shed. PPV or tube ventilation will guarantee 4 air changes an hour and will be set up specifically for the shed - they will set the hole size, height of tube and fan speed to create the air changes without causing a draught at calf level.

Not everyone has purpose built calf sheds - don't forget a clean dry straw bed, plenty of space, shelter using bales and a belly full of good milk will go a long way to protect calves as the we head into the winter months.

Calf Milk Replacer - what's in the bag

There are a huge number of calf milk replacers on the market - here's a bit of a breakdown of what different types of product are available:

Whey Powders:

Whey is a by-product of cheese production but not all whey is produced in the same way so depending on the process you get "Whey Powder", "Delactosed Whey" and "Whey Protein" as shown below:

calf milk replacer based on whey protein will be higher quality than those based on whey powder.

Whey based skimmed milk powders contain proteins which are readily absorbed in the small intestine; but this type of milk powder doesn't clot in the stomach like whole milk. The whole milk clot in the stomach slowly releases the milk over 8-12 hours so whey-fed calves tend to feel hungry a couple of hours after feeding. This can mean early starter pellet intakes are higher in whey powder fed calves so make sure all calves are offered a small amount of fresh starter pellets (and water) from birth!

Skim Powders:

Skim milk is another by-product of milk processing but this time from butter production - it is simply whole milk but with the fats removed and in it's raw form contains 80% casein and 20% whey.

As with whey powders, not all skim powders are the same and can contain differing levels of skim and whey. Skim powders processed using high temperature (84°C) treated milk will be less digestible than those processed at lower temperatures (60°C) so make sure you ask what temperature the powder is processed at.

Skim powders contain casein as the main source of protein and these powders clot in the calf stomach, just like with whole milk. A stable, firm clot takes 8-12hours to break down and so the milk is slowly released into the gut which can help stabilise energy levels during winter when it's cold or during times of stress. A higher % skim in a skim powder means the clot is more stable and slower to breakdown and so easier to digest and the opposite is also true - the lower the % skim means the clot is less stable and the casein ends up in the small intestine where it can't be digested and can cause digestive upsets. Make sure you know the skim:whey ratio of your skim powder - the closer to whole milk the better (80:20)

Ingredient List:

Ideally you want as short a list of ingredients as possible! Remember ingredients are listed by order of inclusion so the higher up the list, the more of it is in there.

  • Steer clear of powders with several vegetable protein sources (wheat flour, wheat powder, soya flour, rice flour, pea flour) and unsaturated fats (linseed, soya, rapeseed, sunflower oils).
  • Look for dairy protein sources (skim or whey protein) and if it isn't 100% dairy, only hydrolysed wheat should be included as a non-dairy protein source.
  • Look at the amount of fat and remember they list ingredients by amount included - palm should come before coconut
  • Check for natural vitamin E levels as well as organic mineral levels

What spec should you go for?

Protein: 22% minimum and as much dairy protein as possible
Fats: varies from 17-27% - should be a minimum of 18%, you can go higher if you're trying to maximise growth rates but this can reduce their appetite for starter.

A reminder about milk powder consistency:

Milk replacer powder should be easily dissolved when mixed and not leave any sediment or lumps at the bottom of the feeder. If you can't get the powder to dissolve or mix or if there are lumps in the milk, don't feed it to the calves as it can cause serious digestive problems.

Did you know?

Calves under 3 weeks old can only digest protein from dairy sources (so only skim, or whey protein - not a vegetable or plant based protein) - when they're over 3 weeks old they can tolerate a bit more non-dairy protein in their milk replacer. Make sure you're feeding a powder that suits your youngest calves.

Orange Market License Changes from 2nd October 2023

If you're in the unfortunate position of being under TB restrictions you'll know all too well enough about the licensing rules for moving cattle off your holding to a TB "orange" market - you've had to apply to APHA before each movement and the turnaround time for these applications can make it difficult to sell cattle and keep stocking rates under control on farm.

New rules have come in from October 2nd 2023 - if you are under TB restrictions you will still need to apply for a license to move restricted cattle off your holding but this only needs to be done ONCE in between each of your short interval 60 day tests.

We have a number of Orange Markets in our area - below are the dates of the next restricted sales at Market Drayton and Shrewsbury:

Don't forget if you would like an extra pair of hands at your next TB test to do numbers - just let us know; Emma or Rhianon would be glad to help.

High Risk for Worms - free testing available

In recent weeks, APHA has diagnosed a large number of serious worm burdens in first grazing season calves in the south-west of England and Wales.

They've found very high worm egg counts of up to 45,000 eggs per gram and up to 10% of affected animals have died. This suggests that the risk of worms is currently very high in first grazing season calves and should be considered in any case of diarrhoea or weight loss.

This huge worm burden risk is likely due to the high rainfall in August, which helped worms escape muck pats onto the pasture, leading to high risk of infection. On top of this, the hot, dry conditions in May-June meant calves have had very little early exposure to worms and not had chance to build up natural immunity. This combination means calves are relatively naïve and facing a high challenge in August-September.

APHA are offering free worm egg counts (WECs) on muck samples from 10 first grazing season cattle per herd as part of the “What worms? What wormer resistance risk?” project, until the 31st October 2023.

What samples do I need to take?

  • 10 fresh muck samples from first grazing season calves
  • Calves should have been at grass for at least 6 weeks
  • Calves should have been untreated for worms for at least 5 weeks

Team HFV Update: Welcome to Kaz & baby Albie!

A few of you will have already met Kaz - he's a partner at another independent XL Vets practice up in Northumberland "Black Sheep Farm Vets" and is giving us a hand over the next few weeks. Kaz is an experienced farm vet, he graduated in 2017 and has just returned from working in dairy practice in New Zealand - keep an eye out for his blue truck!

Huge congratulations to our vet Tom & Rach on the safe arrival of their baby Albie Francis Jackson who arrived a little ahead of schedule on the 1st October. They're all settling in very well back at home.

Bovalto Intranasal - now available in individual doses

Autumn is fast approaching and for many of you this means we're looking to protect calves over the winter period using vaccines against the common pneumonia bugs.

At this time of year we don't always have a safe weather window to get two doses of the injectable pneumonia vaccines in before the risk of pneumonia kicks off and so we recommend using the Intranasal vaccines.

Intranasal vaccines give protection in the nose and throat against the two main viruses (RSV and PI3). Intranasal can go into young calves at around a week old and only takes a few days for the calves to be protected. The dose is 2ml but this should be split and 1ml sprayed up each nostril - we'd recommend using an intranasal vaccinator gun to do this so the vaccine is made into an aerosol and covers as much of the inside surface of the nose as possible.

Bovalto Intranasal comes in 25 or 5 dose packs but now also comes in individual doses for those who want to get all calves done at a week old, rather than waiting for 5 to reach the right age. We've kept the price the same regardless of size of bottle.

Selekt Pump Servicing Clinic: November 1st

If you've got a Selekt stomach pump - make sure you book in for our FOC servicing clinic on November 1st.


Paula: 07764 747855 paula@haywoodfarmvets.com

Tom: 07837 291097 tom@haywoodfarmvets.com

Katie: 07507 656747 katie@haywoodfarmvets.com

Enquiries: mail@haywoodfarmvets.com

Website: haywoodfarmvets.com

Open hours: M-F 08:30 - 16:00

Out of Hours: 01630 810016