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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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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.