Livestock & Poultry

  1. News
    Created by News in category Livestock & Poultry
    Jul 11, 2018
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    Calfmatters survey 2018

    Why not take a few minutes to participate in the 2018 Calfmatters survey and also give yourself the chance of winning one of 50 Cosy Calf jackets?

    Calfmatters is aiming to gather information from as many farmers as possible to build up a national picture of what works and to share best practice. The findings will be published at the UK Dairy Day. To take part, visit www.calfmatters-survey.co.uk or click on the image below.

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    There are 50 Cosy Calf jackets up for grabs to farmers who take part in the survey. We'll select 50 entries at random after the closing date and let the winners know via email. So take the survey now; you really have nothing to lose!
  2. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Livestock & Poultry
    Jun 20, 2018
    Gene-edited pigs found to be resistant to deadly billion dollar virus
    Scientists have produced pigs that can resist one of the world’s most costly animal diseases, by changing their genetic code.

    Tests with the virus, called Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), found that the pigs did not contract the infection at all.

    The animals show no signs that the change in their DNA has had any other impact on their health or wellbeing.

    PRRS costs the European and American pig industries around $2.5 billion (£1.75bn) each year in lost revenue.

    The disease causes breathing problems and deaths in young animals, and if pregnant sows become infected, it can cause them to lose their litter.

    The virus infects pigs using a receptor on their cells’ surface called CD163 and researchers at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute used gene editing techniques to remove a small section of the CD163 gene.

    They focused on the section of the receptor that the virus attaches to, leaving the rest of the molecule intact.

    The team collaborated with Genus PLC, a leading global animal genetics company, to produce pigs with the specific DNA change.

    Previous studies had shown that cells from these animals were resistant to the virus in lab tests.

    This is the first time researchers have exposed these pigs to the virus to see if they become infected.

    They found that none of the animals became ill when exposed to the virus and blood tests found no trace...
  3. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Livestock & Poultry
    May 31, 2018


    Various threads have popped up on TFF about cattle EID but tonight I learned more about what IS intended and with implementation from Christmas or January 1st.

    • New electronic tags will be required to be fitted and during a phased period
    • The new tag numbers will not be the same as the existing passport number rendering existing passports, records, pedigree certificates obsolete
    • All existing EID tags become redundant
    • Movements to be pre-reported via stick readers and smart phones
    • There is an August cut-off date for decisions
    • NFU staff and sector elected representatives are said to be supporting these measures despite not all implications such as common and fell grazing being adequately understood or addressed.
    • Even yesterday DEFRA officals on a fact finding mission had no idea of these wider ramifications

    The only reference document I can come across is the December 2017 SW NFU Livestock Board briefing document and I'm sure many have already seen this and discussed it. I understand the situation has moved beyond what is stated in this document including the bullet points above.

    As more come to light even from consultations this week, I will post up where I can.

    Having a friend on Exmoor finally TB test clear after the worst Winter, I can't imagine how he will now have to cope with the implications for 700+ head of cattle and many pedigree breeds too

    An elected NFU high up when faced by NFU members threatening to...
  4. News
    Created by News in category Livestock & Poultry
    Jan 18, 2018
    NADIS HAS LAUNCHED ANIMAL HEALTH APPS

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    The first stage of the development of the App is complete and we are now working to convert the entire NADIS website Disease A-Z to App format (Android and iPhone platform) so you can look up all diseases affecting livestock and view the latest Parasite Forecast and Disease Alert webinars whilst on the go.

    Free to download, the App can be found in the iTunes store by searching for ‘NADIS’ and choosing the relevant App for your particular field of interest. This easy to use tool has been developed for veterinary professionals, farmers and SQPs. This portable resource takes into consideration that veterinary professionals and livestock handlers are increasingly incorporating digital technology into their daily practices. The App features short summaries, video clips and a full library of clinical images.

    For more information click here.
  5. Farm Business RSS
    Created by Farm Business RSS in category Livestock & Poultry
    Jan 8, 2018
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    Written by John Swire

    Surplus lambs reared on performance-formulated lamb milk replacer, based on whey protein from cow’s milk, do just as well as lambs running naturally with the ewe.

    A study carried out at IBERS, Aberystwyth University, reports that the use of a colostrum alternative followed by good quality lamb milk replacer facilitates the successful rearing of surplus lambs. Lambs reared on milk replacer reached similar weaning weights to their naturally-reared counterparts and, when killed out, both carcass weight and conformation were comparable to that of lambs reared on the ewe, despite a slightly lighter body weight at slaughter.

    “The results of this trial clearly show that sheep farmers should be confident about rearing surplus lambs on performance-formulated lamb milk replacer, provided care is taken to maximise rumen development before weaning for lambs reared on an ad libitum system,” said Volac research scientist Dr Jessica Cooke.

    The results will be encouraging for the many sheep producers who have invested recently in automatic feeding of surplus lambs.

    “Enquiries about automatic milk feeding are at an all-time high in the sheep sector. Like calf rearers, farmers are undoubtedly attracted by the labour-saving benefits and the fact that machine-rearing frees up time to focus on other important jobs. But they also report faster growth rates because there...
  6. Chris F
    Created by Chris F in category Livestock & Poultry
    Jan 3, 2018
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    January Parasite Forecast and Disease Alert

    NADIS Parasite Forecast and Disease Alert Webinar

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    Parasite Forecast

    • Parasite Control - planning ahead
    • Liver fluke risk
    • Chronic fluke disease in sheep and cattle
    • Lice in sheep and cattle


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    Disease Alert

    • Milk Fever
    • Preparation for lambing

    View DA Summary - http://www.nadis.org.uk/media/484607/18-01 disease alert summary.pdf
  7. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Livestock & Poultry
    Nov 24, 2016
    Last night I attended a fascinating (but fairly high brow) conference around #sustainablelivestock at the University of Bristol. The key note speaker was Joel Salatin with some great supporting speakers. Of note, Dr Zoe Harcombe ; a well researched proponent of red meat.



    Today I had an impromptu invitation to attend a more practical on-farm talk around Polyface Farm from Joel Salatin and then a tour of Fir Farm, Lower Swell as guests of Lady Jane Parker, home to Firbosa Hereford cattle and who are embarking on farming systems following those of Joel Salatin.

    I am told that there will be a video released of last night's and today's talks and I will re-post those; mainly because the information was as rich and deep a seam as Joel's compost and I'm not sure I can do it justice with a stream of notes

    A few things do stick in my mind:

    Joel is not organic - he wants to set his own bar and doesn't like paying in to a Government assurance program(me)

    When Joel started out, his Father had land that was so thin they had to make concrete supports for electric fencing stakes, the soil was so thin.

    Joel's organic fraction in his soil has gone from 1% to 8%

    If the US farmland went from 1% to only 2% all of their carbon output could be sequestrated

    The Salatin model is based on livestock, folded around pasture, minimal overheads and entry costs

    All livestock equipment is portable to maintain soil condition as well as business flexibility

    Joel earns a premium selling his...
  8. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Livestock & Poultry
    Oct 8, 2016
    Low prime cattle prices in Ireland best tackled by raising retail value – not curbing volume on market.

    The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has attacked processors for paying 73 cents (64p) a carcase kilo less than those buying similar cattle in Great Britain – arguing that only an urgent price lift can restore badly bruised confidence at farm level.



    The implication is that Irish processors can put more money into Irish cattle at a flick of the switch but the IFA has failed to acknowledge the width, and depth, of premium differentiation on the British market where most certified Angus cattle are currently selling against an R4L base range of 400p-410p (456-468 cents), in-specification, beef cross, commercial steers and heifers offered this week in England and Wales were traded against a base range of 340p-368p (387-420 cents) while certified stock providing beef that can be sold under the premium winning “Scotch Beef” label are being purchased off a base range of 373p-382p or 425-436 cents. (sterling- euro = 1.14 cents)

    (It should be noted that GB’s most recent all-prime average was a much lower 354p (403 cents). This calculation includes all cattle whether qualified for retail schemes or not.)

    These differentials, or premia, which are universally reinforced by Red Tractor certification, were not achieved overnight. Scotch Beef is a PGI registered retail label for which only beef taken off cattle born, reared and processed in Scotland can qualify....
  9. llamedos
    Created by llamedos in category Livestock & Poultry
    Sep 24, 2016
    Lamb producers can tap into a collaborative venture this Autumn, receiving low cost production advice and bonuses from one of Europe’s leading meat processors by using Alpha Rams.

    The Meatlinc Sheep Company and EasyRams, are to supply rams to ABP’s Alpha Lamb Producer Group from this autumn, enabling producers to tap into guaranteed bonuses.



    The creation of this new group confirms ABP’s commitment to the long term profitability of UK sheep farming. Group members will receive bonus payments for lambs sired by Alpha Ram sires and produced according to protocols designed to improve both the quality of lamb produced for the table and the profitability of individual member’s sheep enterprises.

    Alpha Rams will only supply grass fed sires from high health status and fully recorded flocks. Ultrasound and CT scanning will be mandatory allowing their ram breeders to incorporate the benefits of recent research into carcase yields and meat eating quality into their breeding programmes. FEC analysis will be carried out in all ram breeders flocks, enabling them to produce rams with reduced worm burdens requiring less anthelmintic drenches.

    Steven Feehan, ABP’s Head of UK Procurement, says: “Ensuring that commercial sheep farmers have long term profitable and sustainable businesses that are able to withstand future challenges is in the interests of all in the lamb supply chain from ram breeder to processor. By collaborating with some of the UK’s most innovative ram breeders we...
  10. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Livestock & Poultry
    Jun 19, 2016
    The loneliest job in Britain -Dairy Farm on an isolated Scottish Island needs a new tenant

    Jun 18, 2016



    Farming has always been an honest, hard-working job. Ever since we can remember, our ancestors were farmers and generations picked up the trade.


    On the Isle of Gigha near Britain in the Scottish Inner Hebrides, a small farm is looking for a new tenant. The Ardlamy Farm has had the same tenant for nearly 30 years, but the tenant has now retired. He ran the 752-acre parcel as a dairy farm. The island will hold interviews, hoping they can find the right tenant before spring.

    There is one catch, however, and that is that the location of the job is quite secluded, since it’s on an island. To get to the nearest supermarket, the farmer would have to take a ferry. If a farmer had children, there is no secondary school for them. However, since the job has been posted, dozens of people have applied for it even though many in Britain dub the farming job, “the loneliest job in Britain.”


    Image Source: The Scottish Farmer
    The Isle of Gigha only has a population of 160 and has very limited services. The only way to get to the mainland is by ferry. However, none of these limitations stopped the fierce competition for the farmland. About 50 farmers have taken an interest in becoming the next tenant on the island. One of the qualifications is making a business plan for...