Farm Animals

Mother with lambs

Lambing: The Importance of Colostrum in Lambs

Lambing most commonly takes place during the Spring, peaking in March/April, although the lambing season does run from February to April and there are some farms that lamb in December and January. During the lambing period, pregnant ewes are monitored very closely day and night, so this can be one of the busiest times of the year for many farmers.

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Combating Resistance: How Are New Treatments Discovered?

Previously we’ve touched on the increasing threat of both anthelmintic and antibiotic resistance. Across the world, anti-microbial chemicals are an absolutely vital part of life, from medical and veterinary care, to agriculture and pest management. However, the more we use these chemicals, the more likely their targets are to develop resistance.

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The Domestication of Cattle

Cattle were some of the earliest results of domestication by humans. Genetic and archaeological records show that this may have begun as early as around 10,500 years ago. Aurochs (Bos taurus primigenius) were large wild bovines which ranged across the grasslands and forests of Eurasia and northern Africa. Ancient people gradually domesticated these animals and eventually this resulted in the modern cattle we know today.

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Parasite Spotlight: Haemonchus contortus, the Barber’s Pole Worm

Parasite Spotlight: Haemonchus contortus, the Barber’s Pole Worm From endoparasites like liver fluke and Toxoplasma, to ectoparasites, like ticks and mites, controlling parasites is a routine part of livestock farming. While the vast majority of animals carry some parasites, some species are much more dangerous than others. Whilst a low level of infection might be asymptomatic, when there are lots of parasites in an animal’s system, it can cause problems. One of these worms is the Barber’s Pole Worm, Haemonchus contortus.…

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What is African Swine Fever and Why is it Such a Problem?

What is African Swine Fever and Why is it Such a Problem? Recently African Swine Fever made headlines as health officials confirmed the first cases in domestic pigs in Germany. Previously, although the virus was present in wild boar populations, it had yet to make the jump to farmed pigs. While the virus was first identified in Kenya in the 1920s, since then, it has spread across many countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. What is African Swine Fever? African…

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The One Health Model

The One Health Model Veterinary organisations and practitioners around the world have been proponents of the One Health model for many years. It combines human, animals and environmental aspects to address global health challenges. This approach has spread to human medicine in more recent years, and is particularly relevant in combating zoonotic diseases. A disease is called zoonotic when it can move between animals and humans. While some diseases, like toxoplasmosis, can be very mild, others, like rabies, can be…

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Broilers: Slow and Steady Wins the Race?

Broilers: Slow and Steady Wins the Race? Recently, M&S has become the first UK retailer to commit to removing all fast-growing broiler chickens from their supply lines. In the next 12 months, all fresh chicken products will be sourced from slow-growing breeds. Processed chicken products, for example those in ready-made sandwiches or meals, will be sourced from slow-growing broilers by 2026. This announcement comes at a time when animal welfare is very much in the public eye with the launch…

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