NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: vet fees  (Read 1865 times)

hampshiresmallholder

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • Hampshire
  • If two wrongs don't make a right, try three
Re: vet fees
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2019, 10:13:04 am »
Wow thanks everyone soo much. Amazing how everyone is so willing to share info on here. :) Yes there's not many who keep cattle or calves for that matter near me either honeyend. Many websites and TAS later.... ;D I finally have some knowledge.

Thanks again

Voss Electric Fence

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: vet fees
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2019, 10:43:26 am »
Two tips and a piece of information:

1.  Air flow air flow air flow.  There’s nothing more important to cattle than good ventilation.  Calves need to be dry - sheltered from rain and with fresh dry bedding to lie on - but a cool breeze will harm them far less than a humid, stagnant environment.  The ideal is air flow above head height, which draws the air constantly.  So something like a gappy ridge construction, or two open flaps high up at different corners, making a flow across the calves’ area.  But an open-fronted area, provided they can always retreat from any rain blowing in, and there is dry bedding there for them, is better than a sheltered inner corner with no air flow.  They don’t actually need to be warm per se, as long as they are dry, have plenty of fresh dry straw, and are fed warm milk.

2.  Don’t buy calves less than a month old.  Generally the ones that are going to die start to be sickly in the first month.  If it looks healthy at a month, there’s a good chance it will live.  I lived with a third generation cattle farmer.  He was in his sixties and had been buying in and rearing calves (alongside his home bred sucklers) since he was 10 years old.  He never bought calves at less than a month old, unless they were going onto a freshly-calved cow.  And I mean never.  I worked with him for nine years and we had just one hand-reared calf die in that time, out of between three and six bought in a year.  (Admittedly, once my Jersey was established, we reared them on her, which is even better of course.  But he rarely lost them before I came along, and said the two biggest factors were the two tips I’m passing on to you here.)

3.  Bottle / teat is better than head down sucking from an open bucket.  The farmer I’ve mentioned did use a bucket, but he knew what he was doing and which calves to buy.  It just avoids a lot of problems to have them drinking through a teat - although of course you do need to be scrupulous about keeping the teats clean.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

hampshiresmallholder

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • Hampshire
  • If two wrongs don't make a right, try three
Re: vet fees
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2019, 11:42:16 am »
Many, many thanks Sally. Very useful info and tips. I was planning to bottle feed anyway but definitely will do now. Along with adlib timothy hay and I will try that starter before 6 weeks, see if they take it, but if not it will be there from 6 weeks.




2.  Don’t buy calves less than a month old. 


Tbh I cant find many quality calves that are less than a month. Which is a good thing then ;) Especially beef x dairy which is what I'm primarily after.

Thanks again everyone!!!! and good luck on your holdings  :)

PipKelpy

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cattle and sheep!
Re: vet fees
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2019, 03:45:18 pm »
Honeyend, very sorry to hear that with regards to advice. I'm no expert and I've always lived on a small holding with cattle. The ONLY time there were no cattle on the place was from September  2013 through January 2015 and I didn't like it. We'd had to part with the last of our original herd due to being unable to get them into calf and it was 2013 i had a beef done. It was also a very wet winter around here so we were quite relieved at the time, but no cattle on the ground since around the 1920's when my granddad brought the place is a very eerie feeling and it upset mum because she and her dad before her used to milk the cows here. I totally understand the ankle deep! When I said I wanted to get a calf to rear to rebuild the herd i also said that she would be tied in a stall over winter in the very same shippon that mum used to milk in. I know some will probably suck breaths in reading that, but Juniper, Knickers, soon Mary and in time Jennifer don't lie on concrete! They have 6x4 heavy duty cow mats and cameras watching them. Juniper even snores lying flat out. This current winter, due to the mildness, cattle have gone out everyday with inlamb ewes and back in at night. I went to get them in one night and wondered why Juniper was standing strangely. When i got to her i held my breath! She was standing over a ewe that had just lambed. Poor lamb must have wondered what the hairy red lump was! My cattle aren't pure, can't afford that. All polled Herefords off Jersey X Ayrshire cows.
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: vet fees
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2019, 04:24:27 pm »
Just for folk reading this thread, the current Welfare Codes for Cattle for England and Wales state :

Quote
57 No matter how long you house the animals, their accommodation should give them shelter and enough room to move around and interact with each other. The accommodation should provide enough space for a subordinate animal to move away from a dominant one. It is important to provide as comfortable an area as possible, so that the animals can lie down for as long as they want and have enough space to stand up again. The floor should not slope too steeply – no more than about 10% - as steeper slopes can cause leg problems, slipping and falling.

69 In cowsheds, the lying area should be big enough to help keep the cows clean and comfortable and to avoid them damaging their joints. You need to untie tethered cows and let them exercise at least once a day and give them feed and water if it is a long exercise period. The animals should also be able to groom themselves when tethered. The cowshed needs to be well ventilated.

So at present it is not illegal to tether cattle over winter, but they must be untied and allowed to exercise at least once a day, and they must be able to groom themselves while tethered.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

PipKelpy

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cattle and sheep!
Re: vet fees
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2019, 04:42:21 pm »
Personal digs! Blimey! I did state that they had cameras! Not only that but vets have seen them and if you had read my post you would have read how they went out all day! I may have land but we've done for decades out wintering cattle and though I agree with it, I'm now at the stage that I have no help which means when the tractor gets stuck in the field feeding silage it will have to stay there all winter and I can't afford to do that, so if tying a suckler cow up in a stall for 3 months to save the ground, getting cleaned out minimum twice a day, then so be it. Also, at least my method is clean! I suggest you post an article relating deep bedding! Some farmers may be clean, but I know several big farmers in my area that despite straw on straw on straw, cattle are up to their knees in muck. They are the ones that have no hair from their knees down due to scold from the pee and muck!
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!

honeyend

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: vet fees
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2019, 07:54:44 pm »
I think working farmers get a lot of stick on welfare standards, and sometimes there is the perception that small is beautiful, where as I think if you have poor welfare standards it doesn't matter how big you are its no excuse.

  One year I delivered some hay that had become damp to an 'animal sanctuary', it was not wet through but I dare not feed it to ponies, so I was donating for sheep. We delivered the sanctuary and no word of a lie they were stood on there feet of manure, the sheep in the front paddock were at eye level. The buildings that must have once been used for horses, the sheep were hitting there head on the cross members of the roof. The person running this charity was saving farm  animals from slaughter.
  I live on the edge of a flood plain, so often have to cope with mud for many months, but everything has somewhere to lie in the dry and its freshly strawed every day, so it the worst wet its a dry island if they are outside. I have not so happy memories of mucking out into a wheely bin and floating it in dressed in fishermans waders to the muck heap.
  When I was young I used to help on a farm that still had the old fashioned stalls, where they  tied up working horses on a noggin and chain, they are still used for working horses in London. The horses seemed happy in them, they had food and company and laid down in them with no problems and certainly seemed to have less behavioural issues than an animal cooped up in a 12x 12 on its own.
They were Victorian farm building with high ceilings and bedded cobbled floors, any urine draining in to a drain at the back. When you look at the design of modern dairy housing the ideas uses seem similar , with urine and faeces going into the central passage that's scraped, only now the cows have mats with the bedding in their stalls.
  As my barn is not purpose built and they are free housed they have a bedded area well away from the feed and  forage which says relatively clean and they are picked out twice a day. I do not like deep litter because it's the devil to shift and our small tractor has no power steering.

 As I say I am learning and I was just surprised how some people kept their stock.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: vet fees
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2019, 08:32:09 pm »
I’ve re-read my post and I see nothing that could be construed as a personal dig.  None was intended and I do not believe one has unwittingly been made.  I shared some information for the benefit of anyone who might have thought that tethering cattle had been outlawed.

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Goatherd

  • Joined Dec 2014
Re: vet fees
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2019, 08:29:56 am »


    As always gone right of topic  First posted Vet Fees

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: vet fees
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2019, 06:02:15 pm »
I will get it back on then; my top tip for keeping vet bills low is don't call the vet

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: vet fees
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2019, 07:53:38 pm »
I will get it back on then; my top tip for keeping vet bills low is don't call the vet

Except when you then get an epidemic...

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: vet fees
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2019, 08:44:03 pm »


    As always gone right of topic  First posted Vet Fees


I wouldn't say that info on animal welfare is totally unrelated. :thinking:
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

honeyend

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: vet fees
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2019, 09:53:38 pm »
I will get it back on then; my top tip for keeping vet bills low is don't call the vet
The saying, 'a stitch in time saves nine', describes my attitude. Picking up on small things often prevents a lager more expensive problem, if its £30 call out I would rather be thought a fool.

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: vet fees
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2019, 09:58:36 pm »
I will get it back on then; my top tip for keeping vet bills low is don't call the vet

Except when you then get an epidemic...


No different, don't call the vet = no vet bill

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: vet fees
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2019, 10:01:34 pm »
I will get it back on then; my top tip for keeping vet bills low is don't call the vet

Except when you then get an epidemic...


No different, don't call the vet = no vet bill

There may come a point when you have no choice - although I suppose you could always call the knacker to put them out of their misery...
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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