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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.

 

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Zoo calls for volunteers in its hour of need

News Story 1
 As ZSL London Zoo begins to get back on its feet, the organisation is putting out a call for volunteers who have time to help out. It comes after three months of unprecedented closure, which has seen zoos across the UK come under enormous financial pressure.

Volunteers will be required to commit to a minimum of half a day each fortnight, helping to assist zoo visitors as they make their way around. Volunteer manager Rhiannon Green said: "We need cheery, flexible people who can help visitors enjoy their day while respecting the measures that keep everyone safe.

For more information, visit zsl.org. Posts are available at both London and Whipsnade Zoos. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
BSAVA webinars to shine the spotlight on selected journal papers

A free series of webinars that take a closer look at selected papers published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice has been produced by the BSAVA.

In the new BSAVA Science webinar series, authors of the featured papers discuss their results with a panel and how they may impact clinical practice. The authors then answer questions submitted by audience members.

The webinars are available via the BSAVA Webinar Library, covering four different papers. JSAP editor Nicola Di Girolamo, said: "Discussing the research with the authors - experts in their field - really helps to bring the papers to life."