NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!  (Read 6929 times)

bibs

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • dorset
A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« on: September 21, 2010, 12:39:31 pm »
Just wanted to relate the story of a near fatality on our small holding - when our Dexter Bull , Bill , got access to a bin of pig food. he ate the lot , and we found him in the morning blown up to extraordinary proportions and on the deck. Our neighbouring farmer tried to tube him - that is push a plastic pipe into his stomach to release the gas - but it didn't work. we had to call an emergency vet who  'spiked' Bill - ie introduced a spike into the wall of Bill's stomach which would allow gas and liquid to escape. He then had to have a drip and several shots of painkiller and anti biotic. He then all but collapsed. We were told to expect the worst but amazingly Bill pulled through and had his spike removed 10 days later.
Just to say that he got access to the food because someone left a public footpath gate open. However - we should have expected this could be a possibility and made sure that even if the cattle got access to that field - there could be no way they could access the pig food. In other words - if he had died it would have been our fault.
I have always known that cattle can blow up like this if they eat certain foods. Now I REALLY KNOW IT ! So , even though I may be preaching to the converted I just want to say again ......... cows are raiders - they will try their best to access food - Bill raided our pig bins.  Don't let it even be a possibility. You could lose your stock.
Bibs x
Voss Electric Fence

Olly398

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Herts
    • Brixton's Bounty
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2010, 02:20:11 pm »
Goodness me I am so glad he pulled through, thanks for sharing your experiences here.
also blogging at...

      Brixton's Bounty

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 04:48:00 pm »
Glad Bill's OK. Will he have learned his lesson? :cow: I suspect not! Thanks for the warning.

CameronS

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • North East Fife
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 06:44:48 pm »
 :( not good,

someone left a gate open on the farm, deliberately, (as to open it  several chains and padlocks had to be cut), and the cows (60) escaped in to a corn field, 10 died from bloating,this happend a good month ago and a few now are still unwell

bibs

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • dorset
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2010, 09:27:20 pm »
Sorry to hear that CameronS - Bill is still nowhere near his old self and we are still worried about him. s**t , isn't it. x

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2010, 07:23:42 pm »
He'd be dead if he had been a sheep! Pig feed os very high in copper and sheep are very susceptible to copper poisoning.

Perhaps you need to have a rethink about where you keep the feed.
The SHEEP Book for Smallholders
Available from the Good Life Press

www.viableselfsufficiency.co.uk

Eve

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2010, 10:25:09 pm »
Thanks so much for posting this - not being experienced cattle keepers, this is the kind of stuff that's really important to hear!

@Bibs: glad Bill is better!
@CameronS, so sorry to hear that, that's not just criminal, it's sick!!



buddy

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • I really love my life, especially when its sunny
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2010, 09:56:42 pm »
I like to have locks, levers,hasp and staple etc in weird positions, that make it hard for animals to gain access. For example a gate lever that a human is able to pull on but a cow couldn't, bolts higher than a pig could reach and so on.
Enjoying life making the most of whats available. My kids were little yesterday, today they are almost adults, where on earth did that change happen?

hairyhetty

  • Guest
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2010, 06:40:04 pm »
i know its an accident but animal health man would go nuts about ruminants and non-ruminants sharing same food. just thought id mention it as even being stored too close together can get you into trouble. i had inspection from them with no warning at all, and i didnt know all the rules. even storing cat food near cows nuts is a no-no. hope recovery went well.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2010, 07:03:55 pm »
How near is near? How stupid do they think we are?

hairyhetty

  • Guest
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2010, 11:33:15 am »
i think it was measured in metres, cant remember now, does anyone else know? they took feed samples from every bin aswell to make sure nothing got mixed accidentally. they were serious too, and just turned up with no warning. apparently you are suppose to record the feeds you buy and keep batch number details! if all is fine, they give you a certificate, that was 5 years ago, now theyre coming back shortly to check again. its keeping ruminants and non-ruminants thats the issue. but i just found out this week that you cant mix feeds, but can put in separate toughs. so i cant mix sugarbeet with barley, unless i have licence! has anyone ever got licence b4 and is it worth it, or is it opening a can of worms?

oaklandspigs

  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2011, 06:31:53 pm »
its keeping ruminants and non-ruminants thats the issue.
Many TS have this wrong - Yes it is an issue if you cannot demostrate that you are keeping feed that cannot be fed to ruminants away from ruminants.  But the vast majority of pig feed does not contain fish (the ingredient that is a problem) as most feed producers mill for both sheep and pigs, and they would have the same problem in spades if they had fish as an ingredient.  So providing your pig feed doed not contain fish (the label will say so) then there is no legal problem is storing the two together.  Having said that pig feed does contain higher levels of copper, and can (not will but can) be harmful and in extreme circumstances fatal to sheep (and by the sound of it no good to cattle!)

TS training is sadly way out of date in many cases, and the days of pig feed routinely having fish in it is well past.

www.Oaklandspigs.co.uk
"Perfect Pigs" the complete guide to keeping pigs; One Day Pig Courses in South East;
Weaners for sale - Visit our site for details

waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2011, 06:43:45 pm »
If I read this correctly I need to record batch numbers for my ewe nuts.  Is this right?  And I keep them in the same bin as the horse & pony cubes.  Is this a problem and can you point me at the rulebook on DEFRA's websites?

Some years ago one of the dogs got into a bag of dry food incautiously left in the hall.  That nearly killed him when it hydrated inside him so it can happen very close to home

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2011, 11:25:29 am »
You only need to record batch numbers for feedstuffs if you are farm assured.
The SHEEP Book for Smallholders
Available from the Good Life Press

www.viableselfsufficiency.co.uk

oaklandspigs

  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: A warning if you are new to keeping cattle!!
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2011, 06:03:13 pm »
If I read this correctly I need to record batch numbers for my ewe nuts.  Is this right?  And I keep them in the same bin as the horse & pony cubes.  Is this a problem and can you point me at the rulebook on DEFRA's websites?

Unfortunately it is the FSA that administer not Defra  [as the FSA care not a jot for us - yes less than Defra!]

The following link is to the average level of detail the FSA give
http://www.food.gov.uk/foodindustry/guidancenotes/hygguid/guidfarm
The following is from our book (Perfect Pigs, £15 from our website - lots more like this in it!), and summarises what you need to do

"This is another set of “new” regulations, which came into force on the 1st January 2008, and are from the EU Feed Hygiene Regulation (183/2005)

The regulations apply to both producers of Animal feed and to any “business that uses animal feed” in “the production of food for Human consumption” – i.e. you.!

There are some exceptions to the requirements

•   the feeding of food-producing animals kept for private domestic consumption
•   the feeding of animals not kept for food production
•   the production of feed in some circumstances (if you are producing your own feed you should refer directly to the rules to see if you are exempt)

So if you are only keeping pigs for pets, then you do not need to comply.  However if you are breeding - say for showing - even if you do not keep any weaners for yourself for meat, some of the weaners you sell may enter the food chain, and so we would advise you register.  If you are planning to sell any meat from your weaners, we would suspect that you would fall foul of claiming “private domestic consumption”, even if to family and friends, and should register. The point of the regulations is to ensure that feed is produced safely and can be traced in the event of an incident.  However the usual catchall of the EU ensures that even smallholders with a couple of weaners come under the legislation.

Having said that, most people will find little difficulty in complying, as the regulations are mainly around ensuring that your feed remains healthy and uncontaminated.

To achieve this you need to
A)   Comply with the regulations
and
B)   Either complete a certificate to say you comply, or
C)   Be in an Official Scheme (the Single Payment Scheme, or being a member of a environmental stewardship scheme qualify – see annex 4 of the red tractor scheme below for details of qualifying schemes)

Complying with the regulations
The EU regulation lists the rules.  However the current “Industry Code of Practice on Farm Feeding” covers all the requirements and is much more readable. It can be downloaded from
http://www.redtractor.org.uk//feedcop

If you grow feed (i.e. wheat and barley etc, as opposed to growing some supplementary fruit and veg), and/or mix your own, then the rules are more onerous, and for the purposes of the following summary, we are assuming that you buy-in your pig feed.

•   You must comply with what is legal to feed to your pigs and consider any risks with what you are feeding your animals - for instance if you are feeding unused fruit and vegetables that may have been rejected from Human consumption, you should be aware of why, and the hazards it could present to your stock.
•   You must ensure that water is “clean and suitable for Animal consumption”.  Here you should consider the risks of contamination from chemical sprays in fields, and the regular cleaning of internal troughs.
•   You should purchase feed from reputable sources, who should belong to trade associations such as TASSC (Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops), UFAS (Universal Feed Assurance Scheme) or FEMAS (Feed Materials Assurance Scheme). If you buy from a recognised feed merchant (e.g. Scats) or buy labelled (rather than plain) bags then you will almost certainly comply. The feed label will normally contain membership details, so if you see TASSC or FEMAS on it you will be covered.
•   Ensure you store food in clean conditions, prevent contamination from other substances (e.g. chemicals), and ensure that vermin is excluded.
•   Ensure feed is “in date” (remember pig feeds deteriorate after a time – see feeding section), troughs are clean, and give adequate space for the animals to feed.
•   Where you house pigs outdoors, ensure that 8 weeks elapse after spreading organic or slurry manures on land before allowing the pigs onto the area, and observe withholding periods if you use any chemicals on the land.
•   Keep Adequate Records.  In a large commercial enterprise, this would include substantial records to show many aspects.  Most information you are required to keep will be shown on the feed label and invoice or bill, and the legislation does not require you to keep any special records.  However using labels, invoices or your accounts you should be able to show what was purchased from whom, and when.

Completing the certificate
The certificate can be download from
www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/feedfoodguidance.pdf

The code under section 3 is :

R13   Livestock farms which do not mix feeds or mix feeds without additives

Other codes exist for growers of feed, and those who mix additives apply, see the rules if you have other farming activities which this could apply to.
You should send the competed statement to the Trading Standards Dept. of your local council.  In our case we got an acknowledgement of receipt, but this may vary from council to council. 

There is no fee involved (yet!).
"
www.Oaklandspigs.co.uk
"Perfect Pigs" the complete guide to keeping pigs; One Day Pig Courses in South East;
Weaners for sale - Visit our site for details

 

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