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Resilient Planning For Your Cattle (Stonehaven) – Event Summary

29 November 2017

On the 29th November the FAS held an on farm meeting at Craskins farm, Tarland where Johne’s, foot trimming, winter feeding and cattle inspections were the topics of the day.  Just over 20 people turned up on a rather wintry day to hear speakers from SAC Consulting and Norvite.

The meeting was opened up with Gavin Hill giving the group a market update on the recent cattle trends and how the market was looking for going forward.  There was a lot if interest in how Brexit might impact upon the cattle trade but as yet it is still an unknown.

The group was split up and headed round 4 stations on the day.  Lawrence Greig from SAC Consulting discussed cattle inspections with the group as a reminder on timings for tagging cattle and recording movements.  There was a lot of questions from the group regarding Scotmoves and it seems a lot of people are still unsure of Scotmoves procedures.  It was a worthwhile discussion to refresh people on what to expect at inspections.

Next the group heard from David McClelland of Norvite who talked the group through the topic of winter feeding and how best to utilise their silage on farm.  David discussed the use of by products as a feed alternative and options to look at for keeping straw use to a minimum giving the shortage in supplies.

Tim Geraghty, SAC Consulting vet, was also on hand to speak about Johne’s and how to handle it, and deal with it if it is present in your herd.  The group found this really interesting and it proved to be a very topical discussion with many questions asked on the cycle oh johns transmission.  The key message that came from Tim was as soon as Johne’s cattle are detected within the herd pull them out and keep them separate from the herd and either cull, or if young stock fatten and get rid ASAP.

A really interesting lameness and foot trimming demo stations proved popular with the group.  David Miskelly, Woodside Vets, and the farm’s own vet, talked to the group about lameness in cattle and the effect it has on production.  Local foot trimmer, Alan Blackhall, gave the group a demonstration of trimming feet using his hydraulic cattle crush and showed the group how easy it can be to pair feet and also how to deal with a bad foot.  The demo and interactive part of this workshop seemed to be the highlight of the meeting for the group and they found it really interesting with many questions asked.

Overall the meeting provided great discussion on the day within all of the topics being covered and feedback was positive from attendees that it was a very worthwhile event and great, topical, local issues were covered.

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