Last week we had a bumpy start to our calving in our ForChester herd. We learned the impact of challenged metabolic function and its impact on immunity.

With poor quality silage this was always a risk. With a cow calving in after slipping twins and a still birth in a heifer, it was time to dig in and find some solutions.

Our supplementation was a week late and we wont be making that mistake again.

We ran some iodine bloods straight away when we saw the stillbirth. They came back just above the low cut off point.

We are also awaiting further mineral analysis on our close up cows.

We had four retained afterbirths in 3 heifers and our cow with twins.

The potential causes of this are

·       Energy deficit

·       Low blood calcium

·       Vit E selenium deficiency

With our preparation and blood tests done we have identified the most likely problem was our poor silage and late supplementation to the close up cows.

We have seen things settle down now but we must continue to monitor our cows carefully.

The main focus going forward will be

·       Feeding the precalvers energy and protein to make up for challenges in poor silage

·       Monitoring for milk fever and critical care of all fresh calved cows for the next 7 days

·       Await our mineral analysis

·       Milkers going onto baled silage, 6kg of meal in the parlour.

·       Continue to monitor CMT tests and cultures for any positives

Continue to track calf health with a huge focus on colostrum.

This Monday all calves over 7 days will receive their intranasal RSV live vaccine.

This was just a brief summary of what’s happening on farm at the moment.

For more information on the products we are using on our farms check out our shop on the website.

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