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Ironically the tiniest of organisms – bacteria, fungi and viruses – can inflict some of the greatest physical and economic harm to our livestock sectors. Close to 100,000 cattle were culled in the first year alone of the Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme. In September 2019, Type 1 bursal disease virus (IBDV Type 1) was confirmed […]

Facial eczema is a condition caused by the spores of a fungus commonly found living on ryegrass. Hot and humid weather triggers the fungus to ramp up spore production, so spore numbers can explode given the right conditions. The most obvious sign of the disease is sunburn in ruminant animals, which is where the somewhat […]

There are three phases in a calf’s life that are all equally important to reach targets —  the ‘nursery phase’ for the first 60 days, the ‘transition phase” from 60 to 90 days and the ‘grower phase’ from 3 to 8 months onwards. It is important to focus on strategies to keep calves growing quickly, […]

The long-term health and wellbeing of cows within a seasonal calving system is highly dependent on their fertility. According to LIC, the national not-in-calf rate for spring calving herds averaged about 14 percent in 2012 (when mating was on average 85 days) rising to 17 percent in 2015 (when inductions were fully phased out) and […]

Virkon
Virkon

The digestive tract of the neonatal calf is dramatically different to that of the adult ruminant. When a calf is first born they have a very small rumen, only a fraction of the size it will eventually need to be when the animal is older and consuming a much higher fibre diet. A key focus […]

Health and Safety on farms can extend to what is fed to animals to keep them as healthy and safe as possible. Some animal feeds are surprisingly dangerous to some classes of stock, so it pays to read and understand the label when feed arrives. There are a few things to be aware of when […]

Managing ruminant livestock on a smaller piece of land can be more challenging than on a larger block when it gets dry and pasture quality and quantity starts to decline. Larger farms are typically better equipped to take delivery of bulk loads of high fibre feeds (such as palm kernel), which can be used to […]

My experience developing dairy farms and working as a young-stock manager has convinced me that we invest in our future by taking our young-stock through the weaning process well. Replacement heifers and bull producers that are about to wean off milk need to have these calves healthy and growing well before the decision to wean […]