For Suckler Farmers, calving is fast approaching. If calving’s are difficult and losses are occurring, look at the quality of your dry cow management system rather than blaming the bull. The common solution is to use an “easy calving bull”. However this will lead to losses in weaning weights and finished cattle with poor conformation. An input of dry cow management and attention to detail is a more cost-effective option.

The density of the cows diet should be increased when she calves down. The density of the ration will depend on meeting supply and demand for milk. Particularly in the early stages of lactation, the crude protein of the diet should be increased to support milk production.

Suckler cows can only store very small amounts of magnesium in their bones and soft tissue. They lose magnesium in milk, urine and digestive secretions, and unless this is quickly replaced grass tetany may occur. Usually the first signs of tetany are severe staggers or death so it is imperative that cows are supplemented with magnesium if the levels in the diet are low. At Roadhead we provide high energy Magnesium bucket licks to supplement your herd and avoid tetany problems on your farm.

With weather unpredictable, scours can be a problem and can have large economic losses in terms of performance from growth checks. At Roadhead we have a product called Alprotect which covers your calves for Cryptosporidium and Coccidiosis. Alprotect is the ultimate booster for calves. It is easily administered into the mouth via a dosing gun.

We also have another product called Alvital which is a very effective way to treat for scours and rehydrate your calves. Alvital stops scours within 24 hours, removes harmful bacteria, has a soothing effect on the intestinal walls, while contributing towards a better resistance.

If you have had on farm issues with scours or pneumonia in recent years, speak to our calf specialist to discuss preventative measures.

Remember prevention is the best form of cure.

 

Mark O’Sullivan