‘Simple Changes Can Bring Big Benefits’

‘Simple Changes Can Bring Big Benefits’

Jennifer Jones, member of Peebles Young Farmers and a Vet in The Scottish Borders writes in the Young Farmers Focus Column of The Farmers Guardian. See the link or read the article below. https://www.fginsight.com/blogs/young-farmer-focus-jennifer-jones—simple-changes-can-bring-big-benefits


Bio – Peebles, Scottish Borders. Jennifer is 26, and a vet in the Scottish Borders.

Well, that’s the first month of 2021 over with, and it certainly felt like a very long one! Usually at this time of year we are flat out with Young Farmer concert rehearsals, and while there are always a few moans and groans about all day practices, it would be a nice change to be stomping about a village hall, trying and failing to keep in time and remember all the moves. Perhaps by next year I will finally have sorted out my two left feet!

With news over the past few weeks of more shows in 2021 being postponed I’m sure all young farmers countrywide are feeling disheartened about missing out on yet another year of shows, dances and beer tents. However, we managed to adapt last year and once the light nights are here with lambing and calving past I’m sure it won’t seem so bad.

With lambing and calving just around the corner, perhaps now is the time to review your management procedures such as hygiene, colostrum and antibiotic use. Some simple, low cost changes such as improving cleanliness of pens, equipment and feeders, prompt navel disinfection and quality colostrum in sufficient quantity quickly enough (50ml/kg in first few hours for lambs, 10% of body weight in first 6 hours for calves) will have a massive effect on neonatal survival and future health. Antibiotic use is always under scrutiny, and prophylactic use of products such as oral antibiotics really can’t be recommended for the majority anymore. For singles and twins born early in the lambing period with good hygiene and adequate colostrum intake oral antibiotics are not necessary. Triplets and lambs born later in lambing can be given oral antibiotics as there is greater chance of poor passive transfer and exposure to build of bacteria in the environment.

Through SAYFC Agri affairs a very successful panel evening was held a few weeks ago, titled ‘Covid 19 – an opportunity for Scottish Agriculture’. This was a very interesting and hugely positive talk, with speakers from QMS, a butchers, tourism and even from Australia. Over the last year there has been an increase in red meat sales, with more members of the public using their local butchers or farm shop. This has been fantastic and hopefully the trend will continue, with consumers realising that sustainable and local really is the best way forward. QMS also released a new tv advert, along with some infographics to help dispel some of the myths surrounding UK agriculture. Especially now we have left the EU, it is vital we all play a part in continuing promoting our fantastic industry to consumers, so that they will always choose British meat and dairy for its sustainability, transparency and traceability.