Livestock Matters - Autumn 2019

Livestock Matters Autumn 2019 Welcome to the Autumn issue of Livestock Matters 02 the editor Rachel Queenborough XLVets Member Practices Livestock Matters is published by: XLVet UK Ltd Tel: (01228) 711788 *This publication is supplied free of charge to farm clients of XLVets member practices. © XLVet UK Ltd No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission of the publisher. Disclaimer: XLVets does not necessarily share the views of contributors. No responsibility can be accepted for opinions expressed by contributors, or claims made by advertisers within this publication.  1 Northvet Veterinary Group 2 Donald S McGregor and Partners 3 Thrums Veterinary Group 4 Daleside Veterinary Group 5 Armour Veterinary Group 6 Dunmuir Veterinary Group 7 Scott Mitchell Associates 8 Capontree Veterinary Centre 9 Paragon Veterinary Group 10 Millcroft Veterinary Group 11 Craven Farm Vets 12 Bishopton Veterinary Group 13 Wright & Morten 14 Farm Vet Solutions 15 Cain Veterinary Centre 16 Midshire Veterinary Group 17 Shropshire Farm Vets 18 608 Farm & Equine 19 Belmont Farm & Equine 20 Tyndale Vets 21 ProStock Vets 22 Allen and Partners 23 Fenton Vets 24 Farm First Veterinary Services 25 Hook Norton Veterinary Group 26 Larkmead Veterinary Group 27 Drove Vets 28 Cliffe Veterinary Group 29 Shepton Veterinary Group 30 Friars Moor Veterinary Clinic 31 Synergy Farm Health 32 St Boniface Veterinary Clinic 33 Torch Farm & Equine 34 Mount Vets 35 Black Sheep Farm Health 36 Stanley House Vets The themes of fertility and efficiency run through this issue. They are closely linked as good fertility is fundamental for efficiency, which in turn drives production and profitability. The fertility of a breeding animal is influenced by a wide range of different factors. In this autumn issue, Lee-Anne Oliver of Scott Mitchell Associates outlines the pre-breeding checks needed for rams to ensure their fertility and maximise ewe pregnancies. Pre-breeding checks are also advised by Shepton Vets’ Rob Powell as part of a schedule of activities to assure breeding efficiency for Matt Cradock’s block-calving dairy herd. Capontree Vets Brian Mundell and David McCrea show how two block-calving suckler herd farmers are using heat synchronisation and AI to improve their efficiencies. On dairy farms, changing the environment or herd management to improve fertility can boost annual milk production and profit margins. For farmer Charlie Meredith, simply re-grooving the floor in the cowshed improved heat detection and 21-day pregnancy rates. For farmer Greg Fletcher, increasing the frequency of his vet’s fertility visits and creating a new management group for fresh cows were amongst the changes that boosted herd income. Looking ahead, as lambing time is approaching on some farms, Adelle Isaacs and JP Crilly of Larkmead Vets illustrate how ensuring pregnant ewes are appropriately fed will help assure a trouble-free lambing. We hope you enjoy this issue of Livestock Matters.