Know How / Beef / Health and welfare

Read up-to-date information on major welfare issues and diseases affecting dairy animals including infectious disease such as TB and BVD, respiratory disease, lameness and keep up to date with the latest welfare requirements.

Case studies

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How lung wash helps target treatment for pneumonia in cattle

Carrying out a lung wash to identify the cause of respiratory symptoms has enabled one beef farmer to better target antibiotics treatment, and use a specific vaccine to prevent further…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Video: What’s In Your Livestock Shed? A high-health calf unit

Calves reared in a specific youngstock unit are growing 100g/day faster during the 20-120-day phase in early trial work. The High Health Unit (HHU) prototype has been trialled for two…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

How calf rearers have drastically reduced pneumonia cases

Thomas Williams has drastically reduced calf pneumonia by 36% since erecting a purpose-built calf unit.  Mr Williams, who farms with his parents Robert and Angela and wife Michelle in Ellesmere,…

LIVESTOCK

Durham farm saves costs with grassland focus and weighing

Measuring and recording grass growth and weighing livestock more frequently has opened up cost-saving opportunities on an upland grazing farm. David and Joyce Monkhouse of Low Houselop Farm, Tow Law,…

BEEF

How a beef farmer cut antibiotics use in suckler herd by 74%

Suckler-finisher Sebastian Richardson and his family have cut antibiotics use by 74% since 2015. In a pioneering approach to his herd management, Mr Richardson of Townsend Farm, Oundle, has been…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How a beef herd delivers £350/cow with deferred mob grazing

A deferred mob grazing system and maternal native cows have helped slash costs and left a cash-only net profit of £350 a cow on one Worcestershire organic farm. Rob Havard…

Practical advice

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HEALTH AND WELFARE

Coronavirus: Advice for vets and farmers

Vets and farmers have been included on the list of key workers, published by the government amid the coronavirus pandemic. This means farm animals are still able to receive care…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How to recognise and manage ringwomb in livestock in labour

Ringwomb is also known as incomplete dilation of the cervix more than six hours after foetal membranes appear at the vulva. If the onset of first-stage labour was missed (in…

FEED AND NUTRITION

6 tips to avoid mycotoxins in silage ahead of harvest

The presence of mycotoxins in silage can cause huge repercussions for livestock producers, with issues ranging from reduced feed intake to abortion often a result of a mycotoxicosis infection. However,…

PARASITIC DISEASES

6 tips for a good livestock parasite control plan

January is the best time for livestock farmers to plan out a parasite control strategy for the year ahead. A robust and practical programme will help reduce disease burdens, economic…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How to reduce the risk of abortions in cattle

Cattle abortion is a significant health and welfare issue that causes economic loss in treatment costs, lost production and labour inputs. Just a single case of abortion represents a substantial…

PARASITIC DISEASES

The risks of using rafoxanide for liver fluke explained

Farmers are being warned about the dangers of using the flukicide rafoxanide when treating sheep and cattle for liver fluke. Rafoxanide is not currently authorised in the UK, but it…

Insights

MEDICINES

Tackling IBR - non-marker versus marker vaccines

Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) is a highly contagious, respiratory disease that can affect cattle of all ages. It is possible to protect herds using either a non-marker or marker vaccine.…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

7 risk factors of pneumonia in calves and how to avoid them

Buying calves from multiple sources and feeding calves only once a day could be putting animals at risk of getting pneumonia, a study has found. AHDB assessed data from eight…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How to profit from forage-based dairy-beef system

Forage-based dairy-beef systems are profitable even in extreme weather conditions, a two-year study at Harper Adams University has concluded. The project investigated whether it was feasible to finish dairy-bred beef…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Trial shows high iodine cow diet can hinder colostrum uptake

A survey of iodine supplementation in beef herds has revealed that over supplementation pre-calving can negatively affect calves’ ability to absorb colostrum. A collaborative research project between Moredun Research Institute,…

BOVINE TB

Current UK TB rules - and what's coming next

Defra and its devolved counterparts announced a series of tougher bovine TB rules in the past months in a bid to control the disease, which continues to see tens of…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Why dairy farmers should tackle Johne's now

In less than two weeks (by 31 October) farmers supplying purchasing members of the National Johne’s Management Plan (NJMP) – which represents 82% of the UK supply – will need…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Farm trial aims to solve risk of fluke-infected snails

A technique which identifies the presence of mud snails infected with fluke is being used to help Welsh farms determine fields posing the greatest risk to animals. The presence of…

LIVESTOCK

Why textbook heifer growth rates may not be good enough

Dairying experts at home and abroad are questioning whether units are achieving heifer growth targets of 0.7-0.8kg/day and if this gain is sufficient for the modern Holstein. Concerted efforts to…

LIVESTOCK

BVD forum: Joint approach needed to tackle disease

Bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) is widespread in beef and dairy herds and represents a significant drain on the UK cattle industry, with Reading University putting the total cost at £61m/year.…

Q&A: How EU drug rules could affect beef and dairy farmers

Draft EU legislation looks likely to make reporting of on-farm antibiotic use mandatory. What does this mean for cattle farmers and how would it work? Brian Lindsay from the Cattle…

Bovine TB: How Ireland compares with the UK

Ireland is often held up as an example of a country that has shown that culling badgers is a vital element of any strategy to eradicate bovine TB. Ministers refer…

LIVESTOCK

Pneumonia in calves: Pin down the cause and prevent it

Bacteria that cause pneumonia are fairly widespread and can live in a calf’s respiratory tract without causing disease. In the final part of this series, Caroline Stocks looks at what…