Monday, 19 March 2018 - 4:58pm

Efficient milk production is the economic driver in the dairy herd and the primary aim is to optimise milk production per cow per year. Most dairy cows will drop in production by 0.3% per day after peak production. The birth of a calf is essential for the onset of lactation and evidence shows the better the calving interval is, the more milk the cow will produce.

The transition period (3 weeks before to 3 weeks after calving), although short, is when most metabolic and infectious...

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 - 5:20pm

While we all hope that our pets are going to be healthy and live a long and happy life. Unfortunately some of our four legged friends develop conditions that require long term medication, often life- long. Diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and epilepsy can develop in young to middle aged dogs and with appropriate medication can live a normal life, while some diseases, such as arthritis or heart disease (which often develop in later life), can be effectively managed to give your pet a...

Thursday, 8 March 2018 - 3:30pm

There is a national commitment from the sheep industry to reduce the amount of lame sheep to 2% of the national flock.  As it was estimated that 10% of sheep were lame when this was announced  this seemed ambitious.  However, the flocks that have tackled lameness in the ways described have found the number of lame sheep in their flock reduced to 2% quite easily, compared to 95% of those treated with injectable antibiotics alone.

The first task is to identify the cause of lameness, ...

Thursday, 8 March 2018 - 3:28pm

These are now regarded as different stages of the same disease, both caused by Dichelobacter nodosus.

It is the most common cause of lameness on a majority of farms.


Do not trim - only 5-10% of trimmed feet cured, compared to 95% of those treated with injectable antibiotics (trimming as well as injection halved the number that recovered). Therefore, aim to catch and inspect all lame sheep within 3 days, treat Footrot/scald with injectable oxytetracycline...

Thursday, 8 March 2018 - 3:26pm

Spirochaetes seem to be a necessary cause for CODD, like in digital dermatitis in cattle; but we also find the footrot bacteria  - dichelobacter nodosus and fusobacterium necrophorum in more than half of CODD lesions.  Studies suggest there is an important link between the two.

We don’t know if/how much disease passes between species but bought in sheep are the main risk for introducing it to a flock.

Appearance – disease starts at the coronary band, forming an...

Thursday, 8 March 2018 - 3:24pm

These are the non-infectious causes of lameness, normally Shelley hoof or white line abscesses.

The connection between wall and sole is elastic, but is the weak point in the foot. 

Shelley hoof, which is a separation of wall and sole, is common but is not usually associated with lameness, although can cause a problem if mud becomes impacted.

In this case, trim the loose horn out in a semi circle to prevent leaving a space for the mud. If pus forms at the white line the...

Wednesday, 7 March 2018 - 5:14pm

We have teamed up with Vetoquinol, Semex and ActivfET to offer you a chance of winning a trip to World Dairy Expo 2018 in Madison.

We have a limited number of vouchers available. Each voucher entitles you to 3 donors each having a full OPU/IVP cycle on the same day with St Boniface Farm Vets, at a discounted total rate of £325 plus VAT (NB there will be additional fees of £95 plus VAT per embryo produced and keep fees may apply).

There will be...

Saturday, 24 February 2018 - 1:07pm

Embryo transfer techniques can be used very effectively alongside genomics.  If you can identify your best heifers by genomic testing, collect embryos from them, and implant them into your worst genomic heifers, your herd genetics can improve even more rapidly than via genomics or advanced breeding alone.

There are two collection techniques that can be used:


Saturday, 24 February 2018 - 12:39pm

Clarifide is a new UK veterinary led genomics package that aligns genomic testing with breeding objectives and herd health goals on your farm.

Tony is a Clarifide vet and will work with you and your breeding advisor to develop a ranking tool that is bespoke to your farm. This will focus on those traits where an improvement through breeding will likely lead to an improvement in on-farm performance for your...

Friday, 23 February 2018 - 7:30pm

Genetic evaluation is changing.  Genomic testing is revolutionising the way dairy producers make management, selection and breeding decisions on the farm.  Up until now the major focus on genomic testing has been the benefit in identifying high quality young bulls early.  We can now use exactly the same power of prediction for female youngstock, as a cost-effective management tool available to dairy farmers.

Genomic tests provide the genetic information, and therefore potential, an...