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A bright yellow yolk from a freshly laid egg is a key benefit of home produced eggs. However, packaging is important for the perception of quality and egg shell quality is one issue that sometimes crops up with laying flocks – especially in the spring as birds come back into lay. When a flock has […]

Once the threat of metabolic issues around calving has passed, it can be easy to overlook the need for supplementing major mineral levels in the milking cow’s diet. Not balancing the mineral content of diets can be a false economy, which jeopardises both the health and productivity of stock. The use of straights (commodity purchased […]

Demand for weaned lambs could be high this season as grazers look for alternatives to beef finishing and drystock contracts because of concerns around Mycoplasma bovis. Interest in rearing more lambs by hand is therefore likely to be strong in both the commercial and lifestyle sectors. Many traditional commercial sheep farmers rear or sell one lamb […]

Have you ever wondered why birds in the wild only lay eggs in the spring and early summer and then cease laying as winter approaches? This is all due to day-length or hours of daylight, as well as changes in light intensity. Birds that hatch in the spring require a shortening day-length approaching winter and […]

The banning of inductions has focused attention on a shortened mating period to prevent a prolonged calving season. A reduced mating period has inevitably increased empty rates – mating cows with a 53 percent conception rate for only 10 weeks as opposed to 13 weeks will tend to double empty rates with all things being […]

When the milk pay-out dropped in the 2015/2016 season, a lot of cow’s milk was fed to calves and farmers reported that they struggled post-weaning off milk. There are several ways to avoid a post-weaning slump after milk has been removed from the calf diet: Limit long fibre intakes of young calves when housed. In […]

With spring just around the corner, there is naturally a proliferation of young animals on properties across the country. On dairy farms, the focus will be on early lactation and feeding calves to ensure early rumen development and good growth rates. In the same way, anyone wanting to grow young chicks for either egg production […]

Anyone that has had a go at rearing orphan lambs is quite likely to have had to deal with abomasal bloat. It can often strike your “good doers” well into the rearing process, which can be quite devastating, particularly for the younger lamb rearers out there. There are however, some simple steps that you can […]

Fonterra suppliers will be examining tanker dockets more closely this spring as the proposed demerit system, to be introduced in September based on the Fat Evaluation Index (FEI), looms ever closer. Whilst there is still some uncertainty about what affects the FEI – including breed, stage of lactation and other feeds – some farmers may […]

Sheep fertility has increased significantly in recent years, with the New Zealand average lambing percentage jumping from 100 percent in the 1980s to over 130 percent today, with top performing sheep farmers attaining more than 150 percent. This is due to a combination of genetics, along with improved animal health and better feeding. The trade-off […]