TIPS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2013
1. Stop breeding programmes for Autumn calving by 10th March to get a break for the Christmas period. This will also help to sterilise calving pen areas and calving areas prior to Spring calving programmes.
2. Freshly calved cows need adequate supplementary concentrates to avoid body condition losses in excess of half a kilogram per day. In essence, we are currently finding cows on one of our large studies, being in a body condition score of 1.7 and 2.5 in 50% of cases, which is totally unacceptable for cows calved 14-22 days. This means that these cows were in poor body condition by the time they were calving.
3. Dry cows should not be neglected at this stage of the calving season. Supplementary concentrates may be required to avoid body condition losses, in particular where silage quality and quantity are limited.
4. Do not starve suckler cows to avoid calving difficulties or indeed post-calving to avoid excessive milk production causing scouring in calves. These management figures will be detrimental to subsequent herd health and fertility.
5. Ensure your colostrum management programme avoids any risk of spread of Johne’s disease in the herd.
6. Ensure your vaccination programme for leptospirosis, BVD and IBR begins now in cows that are calved at least 2 weeks where immune system suppression should not be a problem.