TIPS FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER 2013
1. Ensure weanling heifers are achieving target weight. Grass quality decreases rapidly at this stage of grass growing season. Supplement diet with concentrates containing adequate high quality protein to meet the needs of growing heifers.
2. Have you checked your herd health status? A bulk milk sample will give preliminary data for discussion with your vet on treatments required.
3. Recent farm visits have shown heavy infestations for liver and stomach fluke and worms. It is essential a treatment plan is put in place with advice from your vet. Cows cannot afford to loose body condition score (BCS) now. Vaccination programmes will not be effective if the immune system is suppressed because of fluke infestation.
4. Many cattle houses have not been cleaned and disinfected to date. Cattle will be housed in a few weeks time and it is essential to plan for that event now.
5. Plan for quota management this year and next year by taking action now. Empty cows should be removed from the milking herd. Cows in poor BCS should be dried off early. Excess in-calf heifers should be sold after calving in the Spring.
6. Autumn calving cows calving outdoors because of excellent grazing conditions need better dry cow transition management to avoid currently poor repair of the reproductive tract post calving.