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23rd February, 2019

Scanning maiden heifers for pre-breed assessment reveals negative impact of a harsh summer

On a farm outside Clonaslee, Co. Laois, we conducted a pre-breed scan of a dairy herd and maiden heifers.  The scan revealed that 20% of the heifers which were over 14 months of age were not suitable for breeding.  These heifers were in a pre-pubertal state.  They showed signs of poor thrive associated with the incidence of Coccidiosis during the summer months.  This was associated with the drinking of stagnant water in pastures.  Secondly, the client revealed to me that the housing environment this autumn was not as good as previous years as he had no access to turf mould which he uses for bedding.  This year he could not get any turf mould dry to enable its use as a bedding material.