Features

Features

  • LUING cattle may not be steeped in history like some of Scotland's hill breeds, but through continuous improvement and a thorough classification system, the breed has seen a rise in popularity - not only in Scotland but further afield, too.

  • THIS mild and wet winter can cause tremendous problems for free-range chickens and Barry Thorp, the Scottish specialist for the St David's Poultry Team, explains in this article how to maximise productivity.

  • STAYING competitive in the world of livestock is the main aim of most breeds, and for native breeds, but this isn't the easiest task when some so quickly favour their continental counterparts.

  • FEW breeds of cattle have as much history attached to them as Highland cattle do, and this February will see the 125th Highland Cattle Show and Sale held in Oban.

  • CHAROLAIS cattle are well-known for their weight gain attributes, but while they have the ability to produce the heaviest carcases, they can also be finished easily at the lighter end of the scale.

New Products

New Products

  • CLEANLINESS and infection control in the lambing/calving shed is paramount at all times and a new product developed and manufactured in Fife, intends to be the most powerful weapon in the modern first-aid arsenal.

  • LIVESTOCK farmers on the Orkney and Shetland Islands will be able to access the benefits of the Spread-a-Bale machine following the appointment of J and W Tait as dealers for the islands.

  • A NEW higher output pump has just been launched by specialist, SlurryKat.

  • COCCIDIOSIS has been shown to cost the average dairy herd between £25 and £60 per affected calf - but a new disinfectant could help guard against its spread.

  • RUMINANT livestock farmers can now bolster their use of cost effective, home-grown cereals in cow diets thanks to the development of a growing range of versatile 'alkalising' ration ingredients, from FiveF Alka Limited.

Dairy

Dairy

  • DESPITE the majority of high yielding dairy herds buffer feeding with silages throughout the spring and summer, the issue of mycotoxin ingestion is often dismissed as primarily a winter problem.

  • A SURVEY of some of the country's most successful dairy farmers has shown that those with best margins, tend to spend more on fertilisers.

  • ORGANIC dairy farmers have been successful in keeping iodine levels up to standard in their milk.

  • THE abundance of seemingly 'fresh' overwintered grass could lead to an upsurge in grass staggers this spring.

  • SOMATIC cell counts and calving intervals are at their lowest levels for 14 years, according to the latest breed averages from National Milk Records (NMR) recorded herds.

Beef

Beef

  • THE abundance of seemingly 'fresh' overwintered grass could lead to an upsurge in grass staggers this spring.

  • POTASH is often blamed for killing cows which succumb to grass staggers - it renders the magnesium in pasture less available and staggers may result so careful use of potash in spring and autumn when stock are susceptible is key.

  • IODINE deficiency can cause many problems for cattle and sheep but too much iodine can also lead to trouble - so investigation before supplementation is the watchword, writes Alwyn Jones, of SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, St Boswells.

  • SOME difficult decisions face farmers and crofters in the north and west of Scotland this winter to ensure their cattle reach the spring in fine fettle.

  • Whistlestop guide to grass staggers.

Sheep

Sheep

  • LISTERIOSIS can be a killer disease for Scottish sheep flocks and is almost entirely preventable by taking greater care when feeding.

  • CLEANLINESS and infection control in the lambing/calving shed is paramount at all times and a new product developed and manufactured in Fife, intends to be the most powerful weapon in the modern first-aid arsenal.

  • ELECTRONIC identification (EID) of livestock should not be viewed as an inconvenience, but more of a benefit to their business that livestock producers cannot ignore.

  • THE first step towards implementing a control programme for EAE is the close monitoring of any abnormal signs during lambing time, according to Matt Haslam, an in-house vet with Benchmark Animal Health.

  • OVINE pregnancy toxaemia - also known as twin lamb disease - is a major cause of mortality and ill-thrift at lambing time.

Farmer Right-hand Column