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  • Scanning cows reveals that flukicides are in short supply.

    On farm visits between Co. Kerry and Co. Cork. Reveal a common theme by farmers that they are unable to get hold of flukicides for the control of stomach and liver fluke. The farms we visit in this region consist entirely of suckler farmers. Over 80% of them have an associated sheep enterprise. Stomach and liver fluke have been blamed for poor thrive in cattle and sheep,as well as many associated secondary diseases. Dr Dan
  • Scanning cows reveals the impact of Johne's disease.

    On a farm visit in Co. Galway today to a Holstein dairy herd, a client revealed his concern at the number of cows which had contracted pneumonia over the previous 2 years. It transpired that this was a secondary infection to an underlying herd health problem associated with Johne's Disease. Over 30% of his herd have tested high positives for the disease. He is now concerned that many years of breeding have now been destroyed. The disease causes severe debilitation of the immune system, and death of the animal associated with severe diarrhea. The major risk period for the transition of the disease is colostrum. If there is a risk of the disease on a farm, colostrum should not be fed from positive cows to any offspring on the farm. Immediate isolation of the dam from her daughter after birth is essential. Prevention is also possible by pasteurisation of the colostrum. Dr Dan
  • Old varieties of sugar beet, barley and grass perform better In 2012

    On a farm visit outside, Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry. A client involved in mixed enterprises of tillage, dairy, and beef, informed me that old varieties of sugar beet, grass and barley perform better in the current inclement year, compared to the newer varieties. He is convinced that the newer varieties will only outperform older varieties in ideal growing conditions. Dr Dan
  • Semi-starvation in Suckler Cows pre calving Is detrimental to reproductive performance

    On farm visits to a number of suckler herds throughout Co. Kerry today. A major finding was the number of cows in deep anestrous and the presence of metritis in the uterine horns. This is associated with poor body condition score in cows, and an extended interval from the norm for the first ovulation post calving. Dr Dan
  • A case of badger rules

    On a farm visit in Co. Derry a dairy farmer informed me that a local road had a forced closure as the road collapsed.It transpired that badgers tunnelled beneath the road. The Department wanted the badgers to be able to take a different path through another section of the farmers land. The farmer would not agree and the Department have decided that the road should remain shut. It is a case that the badger rules, while there is an eradication programme ongoing with TB Dr Dan
  • Tick Borne Fever A Percursor to Bovine Papular Stomatitis

    On farm calls here in West Cork today a farmer informed me that several farmers have lost weanling calves to Bovine Papular Stomatitis. This virus results in warts on the weanling calves. The calves stop eating and eventually die. Tick borne Fever, is a precursor to the previous disease described. Farmers have been recommended to treat calves, at 3 week intervals to prevent the tick borne fever. Dr Dan
  • Milk Price Differential Between Ireland and England

    Farmers in England are currently receiving up to 42 cents a litre, while the maximum that Irish counterparts are receiving is 32 cents, with bonuses included. Many farmers are irrate at the present time that Co-ops, Glanbia, Lakeland, and the Town of Monaghan can pay more for their milk in the North of Ireland than their Southern counterparts. One large dairy farmer in the South informed me that his current breakeven costs are 31.5 cents per litre Dr Dan @
  • scanning cows reveals impact of neospora

    On a farm visit in West Clare high infertility, was associated with Neospora. In excess of 40% of an 80 cow herd was diagnosed with positive results for Neospora. The dog and fox is the intermediate host of the disease. There is currently no cure for Neospora. However, there are the following preventative measures which includes, 1. Proper management of afterbirths. 2. Do not take replacements from Neospora positive cows. 3. Avoid dogs or foxes gaining access to feed stuff. Dr Dan @
  • Dairy farming in Ballybay, Co Monaghan

    On farm calls this morning centered around dairy farms, set around Drumlins in Ballybay, Co. Monaghan. Farms here are small and fragmented. We scanned herds of these farmers. They feel they will be pushed out of business.with the prospects of a 50% milk reduction by the year 2020. Dr Dan @
  • Scanning Cows Reveals An Unexpected Pregnancy.

    This cow had previously undergone 3 superovulation programs, with a yield of 60 embryos. The client was shocked by the fact that the cow was pregnant. The cow had been administered prostaglandin to induce eostrus after the superovulation program. 22 embryos were recovered after the superovulation program. Scanning revealed that the complete luteloysis did not take place, and 7 small corpal leutal were still present on the right ovary and none were present on the left ovary. This is the 1st incidence that I have witnessed of incomplete luteolysis, following prostaglandin treatment. Dr Dan @
  • The Use Of Maize In An Anaerobic Digester In Co. Antrim

    On farm visits in Co. Antrim today. The discussion centered around the amount of land required to suport an anaerobic digester. The quality of maize produced in this part of the country is very poor, relative to that in Germany. The amount used in the anaerobic digester was 4 times greater than that produced. They now have to ship beet from over 100 miles away to feed the digester. This dramatically increases the carbon footprint associated with energy production. Dr Dan @
  • An Interest In Dairy Maintains Longevity

    Visited a dairy farmer in Co.Cork. His father is 90 years of age, and still actively involved. We called in for tea after scanning the cows. The clients father was frustrated as he could not find his walking stick. He thought his son took his stick away, to prevent him from seeing the cows. He never had to visit a doctor in his 80 years, however recently due to pains in his leg he had to take '2 new tablets and he was on the go again'. Dr Dan @
  • Scanning weanling beef heifers prior to sale

    Visited a suckler farmer in Co. Tipperary, this morning. This client presented a group of weanling heifers, to assess reproductive status, prior to sale. It transpired that just 2 animals out of 15 were either cycling or in calf. Normally farmers would inject maiden heifers prior to sale. However, this approach is often wasteful and ineffective if the animals are at the wrong stage of the eostrus cycle or greater than 70 days pregnant Dr Dan @
  • The cost of keeping a cow on a dairy farm

    Profit Monitor system for Irish Dairy farms averaged a cost of €1200 to keep a cow for a year on a dairy farm in Ireland. With the cost of production at 24 cents and the cost of milk at 32cents. Each cent profit by 6000 litres, this makes little economic sense. Dr Dan @
  • Story of the cow with four calves

    Visited a client today in Co. Tipperary. They told me that they had a neighbour with a cow, that had four calves. A local veterinary from a practice nearby was involved in delivering what was thought at the time to be triplets. However, the farmer who was not present on the farm at the time, talked to the veterinary about the successful delivery of the triplets. Shortly after the phone call another calf was successfully delivered.This was to both the delight of the farmer and the veterinary. Dr Dan @
  • Scanning Cows reveals Phantom Heats In pregnant cows.

    Scanned a herd of dairy cows outside Ardmayle, Cashel, Co.Tipperary. Two cows, a mother and daughter, we scanned pregnant to the surprise of the owner in question. These animals had previously shown heats while pregnant. They were persumed empty and were for culling by the owner. Up to 10% of pregnant cows may show heat while pregnant. I have previously seen it, as a trait in family lines of breeding. Dr Dan @
  • Toxins cause severe health problems

    On a farm call today in north Cork where the client presented a suckler herd for pregnancy scanning. She was worried that some of the cows may have reabsorbed pregnancies, after an outbreak of ill-health in the herd. Her veterinary practice diagnosed toxanemia, associated with the consumption of toxic vegetation. The recent inclement weather with poor grazing conditions had been associated with a high incidence of toxanemia in cattle on pastures. It was noteworthy, that all the cases were associated with Simmental Crosses Dr Dan @
  • scanning cows reveals triplets

    On a call this evening we scanned a suckler herd outside, Dingle, Co. Kerry. I scanned a shorthorn cow carrying 3 heifer calves. The odds ratio of this event is 1 in 90,000. Hopefully, the calves will go to full term as this is an extremely high risk pregnancy. Dr Dan @
  • Fodder shortages a major issue.

    On a farm call outside Castleisland, Co. Kerry where fodder shortage is a major issue. I visited 1 farmer who is feeding 3kg's of an 18% protein ration + ad lib straw. The Holstein Freisian heifers are currently achieving their target growth rates on this diet. Dr Dan @
  • Scanning cows reveals 8 sets of twins

    Scanned 53 cows for a client outside Croom, Co.Limerick, today. The scan revealed 8 sets of twins which is exceptionally high. The client acknowledged the identification of those cows carrying twins would assist him with their management Dr Dan @
  • Factories slow in taking in cull cows

    Scanned a herd of dairy cows outside croom, Co. Limerick. The client had fit cull cows going to the factory. Factories keep telling him they are over booked with stock and cannot slaughter them. These cows were running with a Freisian bull. The client decided to scan them on the basis of sexing the pregnancies and retaining those cows carrying heifer calves. Dr Dan @
  • Scanning cows due to food shortages

    On calls today near Midelton, Co. Cork these farmers wanted accurate ageing, sexing and identification of empty cows which will be sold shortly because of feed shortages and the dramatic increase in the cost of concentrate. Dr Dan @
  • Scanning cows reveals repeatibility of Triplet Pregnancies

    Visited a dairy farmer in Co. Wicklow today to scan a herd of Holstein dairy cows. We had visited this client 3 months previously, and diagnosed a cow carrying triplets. The client subsequently, terminated the pregnancy on the basis of the risk to the health of the cow. The client was shocked when I scanned the cow carrying triplets once again today.This is the 1st time I have seen this event of successive triplet pregnancies. Dr Dan @
  • Scanning cows for pregnancy in County Limerick

    We had to scan 4 dairy herds for reproductive performance in Co. Limerick today. The 11 week pregnancy rate for cows confirmed greater than or equal to 30 days pregnant was. 59% of 98 cows, 89% of 71 cows, 95% of 101 cows, and 97% of 74 cows from 4 dairy herds respectively. The low figure was associated with a Holstein dairy herd, with a low E.B.I below 100, while the other remaining herds had an average E.B.I in excess of 120. It transpired that these 3 dairy herds had the highest reproductive performance in dairy herds encountered to date in spring calving dairy herds this year. Also all of these clients informed me that due to adverse weather conditions their milk production was back over 20% this year compared with last year and supplemental concentrates in excess of 400 k.g per cow was fed in the past 5 months, over and above that fed last year. Dr Dan @
  • Scanning In Calf Heifers Reveals A High Incidence Of Coccidiosis.

    On farm visits today, in Co. Limerick where client's revealed that they had to treat their in calf maiden heifers for Coccidiosis. I have encountered clinical cases of this disease whereby rectal palpation revealed very tender rectal wall. One client informed us that it costs in excess of €1000 to treat 33 of his in control calf heifers with a Coccidiostat. The wet weather and associated soil contamination of grazed pastures has been linked to the high prevalence of the disease. Dr Dab @
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