Mineral deficiency in calves – know the right bolus

Calf weaning 001Agridirect offers some advice on the best mineral boluses for calves at weaning time.

Weaning calves – what’s all the doom and gloom about?

Some calves start to fail the moment they come off mother’s milk. You put them out on pasture and you notice the change almost immediately. Sometimes weight loss comes with the onset of infectious diseases that set the animal back even further. All too often, calves don’t make it past this stage at all.

We’ve all had to deal with the unexpected loss of weanling calves, time and time again.

And although it is hard not to despair of weak weanlings that seem prone to just about every ailment imaginable, we should also recognize that disastrous outcomes have preventable causes. The sudden removal of milk from a calf’s diet places enormous stress on its young body. Unless grass quality is of an extremely high quality, chances are that your weanlings are deficient in some crucial minerals. Insufficient copper in a calf’s diet, for example, is one of the leading causes of ill-thrift in calves on Irish farms. A lack of cobalt, on the other hand, can lead to a loss of appetite and a range of health complications. Continue reading “Mineral deficiency in calves – know the right bolus”

The 4 Best Supplements for Breeding Cows

Breeding Season 001

As breeding season approaches, Agridirect offers farmers some advice on the best vitamin and mineral supplements for breeding cows.

Calving season is over: out of the frying pan…

Well, calving season is – hopefully – at an end for most of us. Perhaps we can risk a breather, but only a short one. Days of peace, quiet and leisure time do not feature in the farmer’s calendar. With this year’s calves up and running on spring grass, our attention turns, inevitably, to the breeding season.

A cow’s gestation period is around 247 days, so that leaves a very small window of time before cows go to the bull. Farmers who had calves in February will put the bull in shortly. Continue reading “The 4 Best Supplements for Breeding Cows”

Digital dermatitis – do you know your treatments?

Digital Dermatitis 001Hello farmers! This week at the Agridirect Animal Medicines Corner, our thoughts turn to digital dermatitis. We ask what it is, how it spreads and how to recognize it. We will also make some suggestions on the best ways to treat it!

What is digital dermatitis?

Digital dermatitis (DD) is a bacterial disease of the hoof first discovered in 1974. Highly infectious and hard to cure, it causes lameness in cattle and is a scourge for dairy farmers in particular. It is always distressing to see an animal in pain, and when DD starts to spread through the herd, farmers often despair of getting rid of it. Continue reading “Digital dermatitis – do you know your treatments?”

What will wormer regulations mean for Irish farmers?

Wormer Regulation

Argidirect discusses the government’s plans to introduce animal wormer regulations, and asks what it will mean for Irish farmers!

Wormer regulation: what’s the story?

At this stage, it looks inevitable. Come next year, farmers will need a veterinary prescription to buy antiparasitic drugs. The Department of Agriculture has decided not to exempt fluke and worm doses from new EU regulations, which were adopted in 2019 and will come into effect on 28 January 2022. Continue reading “What will wormer regulations mean for Irish farmers?”

Keeping Milk Fever At Bay

Milk Fever 001

As calving season progresses, Agridirect offers some advice on how to prevent and treat milk fever in lactating cows. 

Looking for the home stretch:

We are on the threshold of April, and exhausted farmers stumble onwards, powered through the endless sleepless nights of calving season by adrenalin, caffeine, and pure love of the job. Perhaps the finish line is not yet in sight, but it will be after another bend or two in the road, another couple of hills. Like long-distance runners approaching the home straight, positive thinking can get us a long way. The key to negotiating the last steep inclines is to maintain rhythm, ignore the pain, and focus on the prize waiting at the end! Continue reading “Keeping Milk Fever At Bay”

Cryptosporidium and scour

Calf Scour 001With calving season underway, Agridirect offers some advice on how to prevent cryptosporidium scour in weanling calves

Calving season: exhaustion, joy, and the fear of loss

Calving season is upon us. In fact, we are right in the middle of it. So if you see any farmers walking around with bags under their eyes, or dozing off mid-conversation, don’t worry. It’s an annual occurrence. They’ll be fine again by late April or May.

Continue reading “Cryptosporidium and scour”