Plan for pregnancy testing – Six weeks after the last mating is the earliest that empties can be called. Please book your scan in early so we can give you the date and time of your choice. Most farms will need 2 scans for accurate ageing of all cows (the window is 40 to 90 days pregnant).
Make sure eartags are clear & readable, replace any missing tags, and sort out any MINDA queries, double-up cow numbers etc, to make the scanning day smoother and to make sure the information flows correctly when synchronising into Infovet.
The facial eczema season is coming – the best way to know if you need to start zinc is to bring in some grass so we can perform a spore count for your own farm. A week after you start providing the cows with the full recommended dose of zinc, you should check to see if the cows are actually getting this zinc at a therapeutic level, by either blood testing 15 cows, or doing a bulk milk zinc test. The cows must get zinc at the correct level, or they will not be protected against facial eczema (and you are wasting your money).
BMSCC is starting to increase for some – we have several trained mastitis assessors within the clinics to help keep a lid on it. Some milk cultures are a good place to start, along with a Mastitis Warrant of Fitness.
Plan your autumn-calving drying off – work out timings to allow for any dry cow withholdings and remember to order product early.
Pregnancy testing heifers is important. Heifers too can be pregnancy tested from as early as six weeks after removing the bull. Keep a watch for any early abortions –diagnosis of a cause usually requires both blood from the heifer and fresh aborted material.
Have a summer feed plan with your grazier in case feed gets short – everyone likes to know so they can help early on rather than seeing under-sized animals returning home.
Get them ready for grazing, and let the grazier know their status: lepto / 5 in 1/ BVD vax / last drench / last mineral treatments (copper capsule, B12/Selenium injection) so they can carry on after your hard work rearing them through spring. We have Animal Health Arrival/Departure cards which can capture this information for the grazier.
Weight gain and growth is key. Regular weighing will help identify those that are struggling and will allow targeted feeding or other interventions to make sure none are falling behind.
Lepto vaccinations are continuing: 4 – 6weeks in between first and second ( + BVD + Salmonella…).
Yersinia has been rearing its head with the lush pasture. Getting a correct diagnosis and treating early will avoid any checks in growth rates. It’s certainly on the list if they’re looking poor/scouring despite regular drenching.
Look after yourselves in the sun (when it’s out!), and hopefully you each enjoy a break off farm at some point.
Have a great Christmas and New Year.