Nine point health plan to en­sure that the key per­for­mance tar­gets are met dur­ing the year

Irish Independent - Farming - - Beef Health -

en­sure ropes, lu­bri­cant, navel dip (chloro­hex­i­dine) and pain killers on farm be­fore calv­ing com­mences.

Keep cows ud­ders as clean as pos­si­ble in lead up to calv­ing. Cows to be given Ro­tavacCorona four to six weeks be­fore they calve.

Have spare sup­ply of colostrum in freezer (source from neigh­bour's farm only if Johne’s sta­tus known). 6. Par­a­site con­trol pro- gramme: This should in­clude any re­sults from fae­cal sam­ples and set tar­gets for when fae­cal egg counts should be car­ried out. Also, all doses used should be recorded.

This al­lows for far more strate­gic and tar­geted dos­ing. It pre­vents over­dos­ing or poor tim­ing of dos­ing. By mon­i­tor­ing fae­cal egg counts as well it gives you a good in­di­ca­tor of worm/fluke bur­dens on your farm. 7. Vac­ci­na­tion strat­egy: A lot of farms use vac­cines to con­trol dis­ease on their farms. With tighter reg­u­la­tions on an­tibi­otics, vac­ci­na­tion will be­come more im­por­tant in the fu­ture in main­tain­ing a healthy herd.

What is so im­por­tant is that these vac­cines are used at the ap­pro­pri­ate time and ad­min­is­tered by the ap­pro­pri­ate route. In this sec­tion of the plan all vac­ci­na­tions used will be put down on a cal­en­dar ba­sis which will be re­viewed an­nu­ally. 8. Nu­tri­tion/hous­ing: This sec­tion should in­clude all feed­ing strate­gies and gen­eral hus­bandry around hous­ing. There is a say­ing ‘if you don't mea­sure it you can't man­age it' this is why silage and feed anal­y­sis is so im­por­tant.

All rel­e­vant feed anal­y­sis and body con­di­tion record­ing should be in­cluded here. It is very use­ful for any in­put from ex­ter­nal ad­vi­sors if nec­es­sary.

A ver y im­por­tant part of nu­tri­tion is also min­eral anal­y­sis by blood test­ing cows be­fore they calve. This can har­vest a lot of in­for­ma­tion in re­la­tion to min­eral i s s ues on farm. Grass­land man­age­ment and daily liveweight gain should be recorded in this sec­tion. Reg­u­lar weight record­ing can be ben­e­fi­cial when record­ing herd per­for­mance. 9. Fer­til­ity: One tar­get for any suck­ler farmer is a calf per cow per year. Proper fer­til­ity record­ing, pre-breed­ing scan­ning, treat­ing prob­lem cows, heat de­tec­tion and at­ten­tion to body con­di­tion scor­ing all help.

By hav­ing a fer­til­ity plan you will di­rectly ef­fect on-farm prof­itabil­ity.

The stock bull or bulls should not be for­got­ten and should be fer­til­ity tested post-pur­chase or be­fore the breed­ing sea­son com­mences.

The l as t s ec t i on s hould in­clude record­ing of sam­ples sub­mit­ted, is­sues on farm and fur­ther notes. At the be­gin­ning of the next year, last year's plan should be re­viewed, changed and adapted where needed.

VI­TAL: Get­ting your feed­ing strate­gies and gen­eral husbandry in or­der with strong silage and feed anal­y­sis will boost per­for­mance

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