Education

We organise focus groups, talks and practical courses throughout the year for our farm clients.  The events are usually both educational and sociable!  For details of future events please ask at reception or …watch this space!

 

CATTLE HANDLING SYSTEMS - our top tips!
 
From pallets and baler twine to shiny aluminium, we see it all when it comes to handling systems. If you’ve got a TB test on the way or planning on vaccinating cattle etc, a smooth running system can save you a lot of time and, more importantly, make the job safer. I’ve just listed a few pointers about small changes you can make to your existing set up.
Firstly, most systems work with the set up of a crush, a race leading up to it, with free access at the sides and a collecting pen. If you don’t currently have hurdles etc, beg, borrow or buy some from my Irish cousins out of a transit.
To make the most out of this sort of system, we need to take advantage of a cow’s behaviour.
  • Having good lighting helps, as cattle like to know where they’re going. They also tend to move a bit better if they’re moving towards a brighter exit. Making entrances and exits obvious to cows speeds things up.
  • Have 10 feet clear in front of the crush
  • Have all gates open fully, altering hinge pinlets if necessary.
  • Having a long race allows cattle to move a bit steadier, as they’re inclined to follow the leader. You’ll notice too that if there’s a slight bend as they approach the crush, they can’t see what’s coming and walk into the crush better.
  • If there’s someone standing at the side, having boards up against the race can make a difference as cattle then can’t see the person.
  • Avoid things that will make cattle hesitate like shiny objects, steps/dips (a ramp would be better). Metal that will be clanging off each other can be dampened by using rubber strips.
  • Don’t let cattle undo your good work! Have a gate/bar at the end of the crush and race to stop animals backing out.
  • In the collecting pen, if beasts are constantly turning back, making pens smaller or dividing a big pen in two can help. If they’re getting their heads into a corner, putting up a board across it is a good idea.
  • Flooring. If your concrete is in need of re-grooving, spreading some sawdust etc is important to stop slipping. If the crush floor is slippy, do the same, or old tyres can make excellent non slip mats (depending on how bald you make your tyres!) 
Jeanne Dennehy



Cow Foot trimming course

We will be running another cow foot trimming course at our Kendal surgery in the near future. It is a busy one day course with plenty of practical sessions. Cost of the course is £120 + VAT (lunch included). Please contact the Kendal office for further details and to book your place.

 

November has been a busy month. There were three meetings at which members of the team spoke. Sarah gave sheep lameness talks at both Lancaster and Kendal auctions and the practice held a dairy cow fertility meeting at The Longlands.


We recently held an on-farm meeting - 'How do your heifers grow?' at Lawsons Farm, Nether Kellet, by kind permission of the Halhead family. With excellent attendance, they were split into 4 groups with half an hour training sessions on each of the following subjects: Ventilation - Jim; Heifer Health Programme - Mark and Jeanne; Nutrition - Andrew and Gemma; and Worming and Fertility - Caroline and Sam. Here are a few photos of the day.

 

 

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