Know How / Health and welfare

Animal health is critical to all producers of dairy and beef cattle, sheep and pigs. Get advice on dealing with livestock diseases such as, bovine TB and mastitis, and conditions such as heat stress, lameness and ewe prolapse. See best practice on vaccination, medicines and reducing antibiotics.

Case studies

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Weighing and herbal ley helps farm solve poor lamb growth

Weighing lambs more frequently and trialling a herbal ley has helped a farm identify a shortfall in iodine. Richard and Laila Carruthers of Rawfoot Farm, Shap, Cumbria, were disappointed by…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

WIYLS visits the only off-grid milking robot in the UK

A Welsh farm is milking cows in a robot powered by a standalone renewable energy system after it was forced to relocate to a remote site when its rented dairy…

BOVINE TB

Steps farmers are taking to reduce bovine TB risk

Simple, inexpensive steps can cut TB risks by limiting cow and badger transmission. Sometimes, another pair of eyes is required to identify risks you may not notice. We speak to…

SHEEP

How ewe liver tissue tests are helping to fine-tune rations

Taking liver biopsies from breeding ewes is helping Welsh sheep farmers to establish the mineral status of their flocks and fine-tune rations. Testing tissue samples from the livers of live…

DAIRY

3 simple adjustments to improve cow health and yield

When George Allen took on the family’s Abbey Farm, in Whitchurch, last year, he was eager to put new ideas in place. But as a young farmer without much capital,…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

How a dairy farm is controlling mycoplasma using vaccination

Mycoplasma bovis is the number one cause of pneumonia in calves in the UK as well as causing mastitis and arthritis in older animals. It is difficult to treat and…

Practical advice

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POULTRY

Avian influenza prevention tips and how to handle an outbreak

Avian flu is every poultry producer’s worst fear; infection can cause widespread mortality, and confirmation of the disease will usually trigger a cull of the flock, followed by stringent cleaning…

SHEEP

A guide to working out drench resistance in your flock

Testing for anthelmintic resistance in sheep is important to get parasites under control. We talk to Ben Strugnell of Farm Port Mortems, County Durham, to find out the best way…

PIGS

How to avoid transmission of the deadly ASF virus to pigs

With one devastating outbreak already plaguing 2020, specialist pig vet Duncan Berkshire stresses the importance of keeping African swine fever out. He explains how the disease is transmitted so farmers…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

5 tips on selecting and breeding beef replacements

Genetics is one of the biggest influences on cow performance, so breeding the right type of cow to suit your system and meet your end market is key. At a…

SHEEP

How to work out your flock’s trace element requirements

Trace elements are minerals such as copper, selenium, cobalt, iodine, manganese and zinc that are essential for life. Optimal flock performance depends on them being supplied correctly. But how do…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

4 plants poisonous to livestock: How to spot and deal with

Many poisonous plants are bitter and unpalatable while they are growing and will not be eaten by livestock under normal circumstances. Therefore, when plant ingestion and poisoning occur there is…

Insights

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Parasite project helps dairy farm to improve worm control

A Ceredigion dairy farm is revising worming protocols for its replacement heifers after a parasite control research project detected early stage resistance to clear wormers.   The Jenkins family, who milk…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

BVD vaccination can lift milk yields, trial shows

Vaccinating dairy cows against the bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) virus can lift milk yields by up to 1 litre/day, a recent global study has shown. A total of 1,463 cows…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How regenerative farming can improve livestock health

Claire Whittle is a veterinary surgeon at LLM Farm Vets. She has been awarded a 2021 Nuffield Farming Scholarship for work on regenerative agriculture in the livestock sector. She explains…

BOVINE TB

UK bovine TB rules, penalties and incentives

Defra has introduced more rigorous, evidenced-based bovine TB testing regimes for cattle this autumn, backed by tougher penalties and incentives to encourage farmers to improve biosecurity. While the number of…

BOVINE TB

Q&A: Wales' chief vet outlines latest bovine TB strategy

Wales’ chief vet Christianne Glossop explains the next steps in the Welsh government’s policy to eradicate bovine TB in herds. Hayley Parrott and Philip Case ask the questions. What are…

BOVINE TB

How successful has the Welsh Cymorth TB scheme been?

Five years ago, the Welsh government challenged farmers to take control of TB herd breakdowns by improving their on-farm biosecurity. To encourage the improvements, it set up a scheme that…

BOVINE TB

Q&A: Defra chief vet outlines latest bovine TB strategy

Defra chief vet Christine Middlemiss outlines the next phase of the government’s plans to eradicate bovine TB in England by 2038.  We ask her about research and development, funding, testing…

BOVINE TB

Q&A: Chief vet outlines bovine TB strategy for NI

Northern Ireland’s chief vet, Robert Huey, explains the next steps in the government policy to eradicate bovine TB in cattle herds. Hayley Parrott and Philip Case ask the questions. What…

PIGS

Survey highlights pig health worry ahead of zinc oxide ban

Weaning can be a stressful time for piglets and, when not managed correctly, can predispose them to conditions such as post-weaning diarrhoea (PWD). Zinc oxide has traditionally been fed after…

BOVINE TB

Gatcombe bovine TB project to continue despite setback

Gatcombe Farm near Seaton in Devon, run by Robert Reed and his family, is involved in a long-term project with experienced vet Dick Sibley, seeking to tackle TB by identifying…

PIGS

How realistic is free-farrowing for the UK pig industry?

A ban on using farrowing crates on UK pig farms has been called for by a number of non-government organisations in recent years. Although there are no imminent plans to…