Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Body condition score tips issued following reports of more caesareans
“Effectively managing body conditioning scores will help mitigate the number of caesareans required” - Robert Logan.
Strong grass growth has led to more overly fit cows and difficult calvings 

Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service (FAS) has issued a number of body condition scoring tips following reports of an increased number of caesareans.

The FAS says that strong grass growth has led to more overly fit cows and, as a consequence, more difficult calvings.

Robert Logan from SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College which delivers the FAS programme, said: “In general, cows have come through the winter well, followed by a normal Spring then tremendous grass growth. According to anecdotal evidence, there has been an increase in the number of caesarean sections taking place, which is largely due to cows being too fit.

“Effectively managing body conditioning scores will help mitigate the number of caesareans required.”

The FAS states that creep feeding is essential, as while delaying weaning will help reduce cow condition, calves will suffer on short grass. Other tips from the FAS include:
  • All cows must be weaned no later than three weeks pre-calving to ensure they produce sufficient colostrum
  • an alternative option is to wean cows early, put their calves on to aftermaths and heavily graze dry cows on poor quality pastures. as a rough guide, stocking rates should be double normal numbers
  • try to force cows to have as much exercise as possible. For example, position water troughs away from feed supplies
  • in extreme cases, consider housing cows. Rations should supply around 70 MJ ME/cow/day containing at least 10 per cent CP in the dry matter and minerals.  As soon as cows have calved they can be turned back outside to graze
  • in all cases, try to provide additional magnesium for the last month of pregnancy. This might be most easily supplied with a low-energy magnesium block/lick
  • in herds with a long calving period, it may be sensible to split them on expected date of calving and for example house the early calvers and keep later calvers outside and delay weaning them
  • don’t forget Spring calvers are likely to be much fitter than average at weaning this autumn too
  • if a cow has a caesarean section, discuss with your vet the possibility of inducing calving, particularly where expected dates of calving are known.

 

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."