Flock Health Club

Nutrition

Dairy Cows

If we are concerned about a nutrition related health issue, we will liaise with your nutritionist to rectify any situation. We will perform an on farm assessment of the cows.

We will consider

  • diet and ration,
  • forage stocks and storage,
  • rumen fill and rumen function,
  • body condition scores,
  • dung consistency,
  • feed space and other nutrition related issues.
  • If necessary blood samples can be taken for metabolic profiles that will assess “what the cow thinks” of the ration and transition from dry period to lactation.
  • Bloods are submitted to the Dairy Herd Health and Productivity Service (DHHPS) at the University of Edinburgh.

We can interpret this information with other data from software programmes such as Interherd+.  This data allows us to assess the rations fed to the cows, and working together with your nutritional advisor, we can help to optimise nutrition and improve the productivity of your cows.

Sheep

The two points in the sheep calendar when nutrition is most important, are pre-tupping and pre-lambing.

Pre-tupping we are aiming for ewes in good body condition and this starts by managing ewes correctly at weaning.  Ewe fertility and scanning percentage will be affected by nutrition and trace element deficiencies .  We can blood sample ewes to establish the mineral and health status of the ewes.

Pre-lambing it is important to get the energy and protein nutrition right to ensure not just a viable lamb with a good birth weight but also good quality and quantity colostrum to be produced by the ewe.  With the focus on reducing antibiotic usage, particularly around lambing time, adequate quality and quantity of colostrum is paramount; and this starts with optimal nutrition.

We offer ration planning tailored to your forage analysis.  Forage quality is very variable year to year, and we can calculate the concentrate requirements to optimise ewe nutrition and prevent expensive over feeding.  We can condition score and blood sample single, twin, and triplet bearing ewes, 2-3 weeks prior to lambing. Metabolic profiling can also be performed and rations can be adjusted based on the results.