Ridgeway Research News

This is the main category that all Ridgeway News is posted to.

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Lice infestations in Cattle and Sheep: Indoor Winter Housing

Lice infestations in Cattle and Sheep: Indoor Winter Housing What are lice? Lice are ectoparasites that live permanently on their host. They either feed off blood meals or on the skin, hair, fleece or any other debris on the skin.  These are named sucking or chewing lice, respectively. Bovicola ovis and Bovicola bovis are chewing lice which are found on sheep and cattle, respectively. In the UK, three species of sucking lice commonly affect cattle — Linognathus vituli, Solenopotes capillatus, Haematopinus eurysternus…

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Sheep Scab and Psoroptes ovis

What is Sheep Scab? Sheep scab is a endemic disease caused by Psoroptes ovis, more commonly known as scab mites. Scab mites defecate on the skin which causes an allergic reaction. With a short life cycle of only 14 days, scab mite populations can increase fast and can infect an entire flock. Even more so when kept indoors and in close proximity. The mite can survive for up to 17 days off the sheep, but needs a sheep to complete its…

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Happy New Year: A round up of all of the parasites we have seen this year

Happy New Year: A round up of all of the parasites we have seen this year We’ve been lucky enough to see quite a range of parasites at Ridgeway this year, including some new ones and some that we’ve encountered many times. We thought we would share a few of these with you to sum up some of our work this year. We look forward to seeing what new and exciting species 2021 brings us! Dictyocaulus filaria A new parasite…

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Christmas 2020: the perfect opportunity to nurture your mental health and take time for yourself after the strangest of years

Christmas 2020: the perfect opportunity to nurture your mental health and take time for yourself after the strangest of years Who would have thought that 2020 would bring us a global pandemic and very altered day-to-day life as we know it? Why didn’t Doc from Back to the Future warn us just to skip 2020 altogether? Jokes aside, it’s been a really tough year for everyone. Whether that’s been from lack of work, working extra hours, becoming ill or feeling…

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Cystic Ovarian Disease

Infertility in Cows: Cystic Ovarian Disease What is Cystic Ovarian Disease in cattle? Cystic ovarian disease (COD) is a major problem associated with poor fertility in dairy cattle. Reportedly, from 6 to 19% of dairy cows develop cysts. It is possible, however, that the incidence of the disease is as high as 60%, as many heifers recover without intervention1, meaning they may go undetected. It is characterised by the presence of at least one enlarged anovulatory follicle on one or…

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Scrapie in Sheep: Everything You Need to Know

Scrapie in Sheep: Everything You Need to Know What is Scrapie? Scrapie is a degenerative disease of the Central Nervous System (CNS) which is fatal, affecting sheep and goats. It is a type of disease known as a Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy and has a worldwide presence. It first emerged in Europe and the United Kingdom 250 years ago. Flocks can suffer from as much as 10-20% mortality rates due to scrapie, introducing a massive economic burden for the industry. Scrapie…

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How has Coronavirus impacted the Dairy Industry?

How has Coronavirus impacted the Dairy Industry? All around the UK, industries have been feeling the effect of lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and business shutdowns. With the advent of Lockdown 2.0, it is important to see how this has affected the UK’s largest farming sector. The dairy industry of the UK is responsible for thousands of jobs and millions of animals. With over 13,000 dairy farms in the UK, it’s safe to say that many people will feel the impact. The…

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Bird Flu: How to spot Avian Influenza and what your next steps should be

Bird Flu: How to spot Avian Influenza and what your next steps should be In our last article, we explained what bird flu is, the types of strains,  categorisation of low and high pathogenicity and reports of recent outbreaks within the UK. In this article, we will look at recognising signs of bird flu, how to then report it to DEFRA, increased biosecurity measures you should be taking whilst the UK is an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, and what to do…

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Bird Flu: What is Avian Influenza and is it present in the UK?

Bird Flu: What is Avian Influenza and is it present in the UK? What is it? Bird flu is a disease that most birds can catch. It is caused by the Avian Influenza virus and occurs naturally in aquatic birds such as wild ducks, geese, swans and gulls. It can also infect domestic poultry and other animal species too. Occasionally, it has also been known to infect humans. For instance, the strain H5N1 continues to infect humans sporadically. It is…

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