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Testing Times – Winter Cattle Management (Isle of Lewis) – Event summary

5 December 2017

Winter Cattle Management on the Isle of Lewis

13 participants from across Lewis and Harris took up the opportunity to see round the new (and only) dairy on the island, where Gordon Mackay, the host, gave a talk on the set-up and some of theA group of farmers join Gordon MacKay at Moorpark Dairy on the Isle of Lewis obstacles he is facing in getting production up and running.

Following on from the site visit Gavin Hill, Senior Beef Specialist SAC and Tim Geraghty, SAC’s Aberdeen Vet Centre Manager led a discussion on the importance of high health status and the opportunities for producing animals that are valued for quality.

A discussion then followed focusing on how those present felt health testing should be conducted to ensure it gave maximum benefit to the high health status animals in the Lewis and Harris area.

The evening concluded with an open-floor session which gave the crofters present an opportunity to ask questions relevant to their own situations.

Key take home winter feeding points:

  • Know your stock – assess their weight and body condition
  • Know your feeds – assess the quality and be aware of the animals requirements

Forward Planning – look to improve home grown forages through new or renewed reseeds and when to crop

Handouts from this meeting are available to download below.

Farming For a Better Climate logoMaximising liveweight output from a carefully managed feeding regime can help reduce your farm carbon footprint.  Having an efficient system can also lead to better profitability.  To read more on how to reduce your carbon outputs or to read what other farmers have done, visit Farming For a Better Climate

Related Downloads
Testing Times event – Industry update presentation slides
This is a copy of the presentation slides used at the 'Testing Times - Winter Cattle Management' meetings held on the Isles of Harris & Lewis in December 2017
Topics: Climate Change and Livestock
Testing times event – ‘Draff as a feed choice’ presentation slides
These presentation slides look at Draff as a feed choice for winter cattle management. They were used as part of the 'Testing Times - Winter Cattle Mangement' events held on the Isles of Harris & Lewis in December 2017
Topics: Climate Change and Livestock
Draff – a feed specification sheet
This is a feed information sheet about Draff as an animal feed
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Practical Guide: Improving Shed Ventilation for the Beef Herd
This practical guide looks at maximising performance of housed beef cattle by improving ventilation in buildings.
Topics: Climate Change
Practical Guide: Silage Testing: Interpreting the Results
This practical guide looks at helping to maximise performance of housed cattle by improving the use of silages.
Topics: Climate Change
Carbon Footprinting in the Beef Herd
Carbon Footprinting in the Beef Herd: A practical guide
Technical Note (TN634): Ensuring Good Welfare of Outwintered Cattle
Technical Note (TN677): Treatment and Control of Liver Fluke in Sheep and Cattle
The number of disease outbreaks due to the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica has increased in recent years with unprecedented numbers of sheep affected in 2012/13.
Topics: Livestock
QMS Guide to improving suckler herd fertility
Managing and improving the fertility of your suckler herd is one of the key ways to improve cow margins and hence business profitability. This booklet from QMS is designed to help you assess your herd’s fertility and identify scope for improvement, and provides ideas you can put into practice on your farm.
A group of farmers join Gordon MacKay at Moorpark Dairy on the Isle of Lewis

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