It was a miserable wet evening which gave farmers the opportunity to come out in force with almost 60 in attendance at our Livestock Management event on the 3rd September. The evening started off with the opportunity for farmers to talk to the trade stands which were made up of tag and EID companies and a couple of The Farmer Networks sponsor of which we were very grateful of their attendance and support of the event. The trade stands included Shearwell Data, Farm Plan, Roxan Quick Tags, Caisley Tags, Animax, Paul Keeble Nutrition, and Taylors ATV; and special thanks to Carrs Billington and Leyburn Auction Mart for their support to. The time before the talks were spent chatting through the EID products and software which is available, as well as a generally socialising with friends and neighbours.
We gathered into the building where the handling system and lambs were. Ian Cairns from the AHDB Lamb Selection team started the talks with a very informative session covering the importance of getting the most from selling prime lambs. He discussed hitting the specifications in the target area of E/2/3L, U/2/3L, R/2/3L see the classification table below.
This is mainly done by feel and touch when selecting lambs ready for market as well as the weights and visual appraisal. With handling points at the shoulder and loin for confirmation and the tail dock, rib and loin for fat coverage. This is essential when selecting lambs however we are aware that many hill breeds and their crosses can be difficult to hit these specifications so it is important to allow lambs to be well fleshed. Ian also explained about reasons for lambs to be rejected at slaughter such as injection points where the flesh has been damaged and caused abscesses to appear; therefore, it is important when vaccinating and treating sick lambs not to inject into the larger muscle deposits such as loin and rump areas. Injection sites in the neck muscle is recommended. Bruising and wool pull is also something to take care with when handling lambs selected for market. This damage leads to wasteful trimming or even condemnation of meat. A live handling demonstration took place after the talks, and gave the farmers a chance to put to practice what they had learnt and even shared techniques of their own.
Ian followed with a brief update on cross compliance with a focus on the 10-mile rule and temporary land associations and cattle passports. Farmers who have land within 10-miles of their main holding and not changing keeper do not need to report movements to ARAMs. Movements must kept within your holding register for your own records. If you have a temporary holding number this needs to be renewed each year. A new rule for cattle passports has come into effect; when requesting a new passport and have not received it within 14 days of requesting one you are liable to receive a fine of £20 if not reported missing to them within that time - a charge for another maybe made.
Fiona Kenyon and Beth Wells from Moredun gave an interesting talk on worms in sheep and cattle, and gave some very good tips on how not to be caught out with loss of production. This included doing faecal egg counts on a regular basis to check for the need to dose as other diseases can contribute to loss of production too. Weighing animals to get the correct dose rate for the heaviest animal, as well as checking that the dosing gun is giving the correct dose is best practice. This will reduce the risk of resistance, if farmers are able to use different wormers at different times of the year this will also reduce the risk of resistance. Traditional techniques such as dosing onto a clean pasture or aftermath is now thought to increase the risk of resistance due to increasing the chances of just resistance worms being on that piece of ground. Fiona also passed a specimen of the different worms and explained the different host they prefer and how older animals become immune to them such as nematodirus. There was lots of infomration for the farmers to take home and read up on worms and fluke. For more information please access the Moredun Website https://www.moredun.org.uk/worms