Vetinerary Corner: Do you know how vital Colostrum is?

blog colostrum

This week Vet Sarah Ryan continues her advice on calving by talking  through how vitally important colostrum is to the new born calf.


So hopefully at this point we have a healthy calf on the ground delivered safely! The most important thing on the list now is of course colostrum. I will say it again Colostrum.
And once again for good measure Colostrum Continue reading “Vetinerary Corner: Do you know how vital Colostrum is?”

Farm Safety- Lets talk about Responsibility

blog farm safety
Farm Deaths

There has been a huge spike in farm related deaths over the last number of weeks. Many of them children who were helping parents on the farm. While some take issue with children helping on the farm,  for many farms having children helping is essential because of self isolation or restrictions stopping some farm workers getting to work! For others, putting children to work is the only way to keep them occupied when stuck at home. I have no problem with children helping on the farm as I personally believe it helps build character and work ethic.  However, no matter the reason, safety must always be forefront for all the family on the farm!

Stop The messing on the farm

While many of us take safety as a top priority, the recent trend of video’s being uploaded from farms around the country shows clearly that it is not for everyone. If you think the outrage at these videos is unfounded; it is not. Farming is already under the spotlight for being the least safe profession in the country. When the public see the recklessness shown in these videos it will only increase calls for tougher inspections on farm safety. As annoying as I would find such inspections on my own farm, it is hard to argue against such a move when there is such clear evidence of wrongdoing. Continue reading “Farm Safety- Lets talk about Responsibility”

Vetinerary Corner: Protecting Your Farm From Covid 19

Covid 19 blog
Back after a Covid 19 hiatus

We have not had a chance to post in a while due to these are strange times. We have come under increased pressure due to covid 19 restrictions but here at Agridirect we are still doing our best to serve the farming community. Unfortunately, we are experiencing some delays in certain products arriving to us and some delays with our couriers getting products to customers. However, we have all hands-on deck to try and get as many orders out as quickly as possible which is why this post is a few weeks later than planned.

In this post our vet Sarah Ryan shares some tips on how to protect your farm from Covid 19.

Coping with Covid 19

A lot has changed since I last wrote. As the farmers must keep farming and the vets keep vetting, I thought I would go a bit off topic this time and give a few tips and ways to make life a bit easier and safer for yourself and your vet.

As I have 2 young children at home, I have been quite worried about bringing the virus home to them, so hygiene measures have been in the front of my mind for the last few weeks. It’s not just bringing it home that worries me. During this busy time of year we could be travelling to 20 or 30 different farms per day. Some of our clients are over the age of 70 and should be cocooning in their house, not in a stuffy shed helping me with a cow caesarean. I know the virus could never come at a good time for anyone but it literally could not come at a worse time for both farmers and vets. It’s a stressful time for everyone, and everyone is finding it difficult…I have been out to farms after a long night on call and believe me there is more than one irritable cow on the farm when I arrive.

Protect your farm and your Vet

Following HSE guidelines vets have been deemed as essential workers, which of course makes sense as animal welfare plays a huge role in our job and would never want to leave any animal in need of attention. Let alone the reaction I would get from the farmer if I told them I wasn’t going to pull their lambs!!

Over the last few weeks we have been learning as we go and have come up with a few ways to make things safer for everyone. This isn’t a list of demands but just a few ideas that might help prevent the spread of the virus in the farming community.

How to keep your farm safe from Covid 19
  1. If you are going to your vet for animal remedies, try and ring ahead in advance so they can have it ready for you and you will spend less time in the office/shop.
  1. Have hand washing facilities available for the vet if they are coming on a call out, I know that might seem simple but we call to a lot of place where we end up washing in a trough(and once I was pointed to a puddle!!)

3. Have disinfectant footbath at the farm entrance for or where the vet will be getting in and out of the car. For those who can remember this was a huge thing during the foot and mouth crisis but unfortunately does not seem to be followed as closely on this occasion!

4. A lot of farmers are de-horning calves at the moment, so if you have a dehorning crate and you call the vet to look at a sick calf if you have the calf in the crate on their arrival it will save you getting to close to one another when they are examining it

5. If you have someone out to deal with a sheep, its good to have them haltered and tied so the vet can examine it without you having to hold it.

6.Have larger cattle ready to be examined in the crush and make sure you try and stay 2 metres back.

7. The Department of agriculture have also informed us that for the moment TB will continue but you do not need to test calves under 120 days, unless a reactor retest or export. This will remain in place until review on 2nd of May 202

8. People over 70 should not be present during TB tests.

9. Only essential personnel should be present at the tests, no children should be present during the TB test

10.Where a herd cannot be tested because of Covid there will be a grace period of 28 days from the date on which the test becomes overdue.

Changed times

Things have changed and who knows how long this is going to last but one good thing I can see is the amazing community we have in rural Ireland.

Our local pub owner has made homemade masks for us to give out to our farmers and to use ourselves! If that’s not community I don’t know what is. We are all in this together and all must do our bit to reduce the burden on our hospitals and staff. So, take care everyone. And remember a cow is 6ft…. STAY A COW AWAY!!!!!

I hope this helps and Stay safe during these troubled times.






Veterinary Corner with Sarah Ryan- Calving Part 2

Vet corner blog 2 001Vet Sarah Ryan

I outlined a few things to keep in mind before calving in my last article. Its time to talk about the main event: Calving itself; and Importantly when to intervene, and when to call the Vet. Like I have mentioned calving facilities should be clean, well bedded, have lighting and above all, safe. The use of individual calving boxes is preferable where possible but well managed group pens are just as good.
We get asked a lot of questions about timing and where it varies from animal to animal. Of course, you yourself will have animals you know are slow to calf and others that like to get down to business. When it comes to calving, the one thing I always say is progression. If things are progressing normally and within reasonable time limits, then things will generally look after themselves. Continue reading “Veterinary Corner with Sarah Ryan- Calving Part 2”

Reducing Lamb Losses in First 24hrs

lamb losses blog

Feeding before lambing

Feeding the ewe well in the weeks before lambing can help reduce first 24-hour lamb losses significantly. Ewes that have a good quality diet of high dry matter silage/hay and concentrates will fair better, it will help the developing lamb fetus grow and ensure the lamb has an adequate layer of fat to help provide energy for the first few hours after birth. Good feeding of the ewe will also help ensure that the lamb is vigorous when born, supplying the lamb with energy to help it stand and suck early. Continue reading “Reducing Lamb Losses in First 24hrs”

Agridirect Veterinary Corner – Sarah Ryan on Spring Calving

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Veterinary Corner

The Agridirect blog is delighted to launch our new collaboration with Veterinary practitioner Sarah Ryan, from DKD Veterinary Services, a mixed practice in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. Sarah is a second-generation vet, with her Father John Dixon setting up DKD Veterinary services in 1980. Sarah herself graduated from UCD and joined her fathers’ practice in 2009. Since then she has been visiting farms in the locality, to help with everything from births to lost causes and everything in between. We are delighted to say she has agreed to become a regular contributor with us. Sarah will be offering advice on all aspects of animal health and husbandry, while also sharing her own practical experiences. Continue reading “Agridirect Veterinary Corner – Sarah Ryan on Spring Calving”

Allsure- Do you know what Trace Elements your Sheep Need?

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Approaching Trace Element deficiency in sheep

Animax’s Allsure sheep boluses are becoming the go to bolus for sheep farmers around the country.-the reason: trace element deficiency in sheep is increasingly becoming a problem. The signs associated with trace element deficiency can often subtle in onset and often present as poorly growing lambs during late summer or early autumn. There is also considerable interplay between  factors such as seasonal changes in grass growth, diet and management for complexes such as Parasitic Gastro Enteritis (PGE) and trace element deficiency. As such it is important to consider and deal with all the issues including any  parasitic problems. Continue reading “Allsure- Do you know what Trace Elements your Sheep Need?”

Twin Lamb Disease- Do you know what to do for your flock?

blog twin lamb disease

Many sheep farms are now in the final stretch of the pre-lambing period. High-quality care and management of ewes in the final 6 weeks of pregnancy are essential for good live birth rates and survival. Few people realise that 75% of lamb growth happens during this period. Farmers should be checking their flocks twice daily to check feed supplies are adequate and to observe ewe behaviours for any signs that may indicate illness. Illness at this stage could impact ewe and lamb, significantly impacting profits. One of the most frequent illnesses seen in flocks is Twin Lamb Disease. Continue reading “Twin Lamb Disease- Do you know what to do for your flock?”

Calf Investment Scheme: Do you know what’s required to Avoid the Pitfalls?

Calf invstment scheme blog

The Department has announced the details of the new Calf Investment Scheme (CIS). On the surface it seems like a great opportunity for farmers to invest and expand. However, as usual there is a lot of technical jargon hiding the important information! It appears that the proclaimed 40% isn’t quite as it appears! Here at Agridirect we have taken the time to sift through the excess information and give you whats important. Hopefully it will help some get a better idea of what will be expected of them before signing up. Continue reading “Calf Investment Scheme: Do you know what’s required to Avoid the Pitfalls?”

Christmas- Are we teaching children to focus on Presents

 children christmas present blog
Present Woes

We’ve made it to another year’s end, and yet again everyone’s focus is on presents! But it’s been a tough year for many, financially speaking, especially farmers. Christmas is the time when you will feel the financial squeeze the most, with no idea how long you will have to feed animals into the spring! Looking for the best present for family and friends is when you realise you might not be able to afford the top of the range items! At least not while keep something aside for a rainy day or month in the spring!  As a result, the feeling of fear and inadequacy can be daunting! Continue reading “Christmas- Are we teaching children to focus on Presents”