Written by Dr James Wilson PhD It is estimated across a range of dairy systems that approximately 1 in 3 cows are lame at any given time (Randall et al. 2019). This has come from numerous studies examining prevalence across a range of dairy systems, meaning that this is not a condition unique to the … Read more
The growing threat of Johne’s Disease is encouraging significant numbers of dairy farmers to offer bespoke colostrum replacements to newborn calves. A case in point is Katesbridge milk producer John McGaffin, who farms with his father Hubert. The pair milk 125, mainly autumn calving cows, a mix of Holstein and Ayrshires. The herd is currently … Read more
Recent research has shown that dry matter losses are costing farmers on average £26 per tonne of DM, with this figure likely to be considerably more in 2022 based on current input costs. Simple changes in silage making practices like ensuring a rapid wilt to a target of 30% DM as quickly as possible to … Read more
Dr T.B Barragry PhD, MSc, MVB, MRCVS, Dip ECVPT. Veterinary pharmacologist. The aim in making good silage and indeed in storing any crop, is to keep its nutritional quality as close as possible to that of the original harvested crop and to avoid losses during silage making. This means minimizing losses of dry matter and … Read more
By: Dr T.B Barragry PhD MSc MVB MRCVS Probiotic Actions Very significant advances have been made in clarifying the scientific mechanism of action of probiotics with respect to their interactions with the gut microbiome and on the development of immunity in the gut barrier itself. These interesting new probiotic mechanisms are largely threefold: The Gut … Read more
Many dairy farmers use a range of different footbath solutions to help control lameness, often switching from one to the other with little difference in performance. Many solutions arrive on the market with the promise of treating all lameness problems but fail to live up to expectations. So how do farmers decide what will work against their lameness problems, especially the complex digital dermatitis problem? One option is to listen to other farmers. However as every farm is different often what works on one farm will frustratingly not work on another. Another option is to consider independent peer reviewed scientific evidence.
One such highly respected source of evidence is the Journal of Dairy Science. It recently published a peer reviewed article titled, ‘Effect of a tea tree oil and organic acid footbath solution on digital dermatitis in dairy cows’, by the University of Kentucky. This robust on farm study used a split footbath so that two different solutions could be compared scientifically with genetics, yield, lactation etc. being equal for both products. The study compared Copper Sulphate to Hoofsure Endurance. Both products reduced M1 and M2 digital dermatitis by 50%. There was no statistical significant difference between the two products.
David Jardine farms with his brother Jonathan midway between Dromore and Dromara in Co Down. They run a combined commercial sheep and pedigree Limousin cattle enterprise with Jonathan the man having the primary interest in breeding the ewes and lambs.
This year’s lambing season is now in full swing with approximately one third of the 300 strong Mule flock now fully occupied with their new arrivals.
“To date 102 ewes have delivered 207 live lambs. This figure ties in with the scanning results. But it is still uplifting to see all the newborns doing so well,” David explained.