Ridgeway Science

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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Great British Beef Week: Sustainability in the Beef Industry

Great British Beef Week: Sustainability in the Beef Industry This week is Great British Beef Week. Originally started by the Ladies in Beef, a grassroots agricultural collective, this year marks the 11th celebration of British beef. While last year’s celebrations were greatly curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, the focus is on sustainability in the beef industry. What is the problem? When assessing sustainability in an agricultural industry, there are three main areas that are usually focussed on. These…

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Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 Nature can help us feel more grounded and reduce feelings of anger, sadness and fatigue. That’s why, this year, the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is Nature. Here at Ridgeway Research, we’re lucky to be located in the beautiful Forest of Dean. We’re just a stone’s throw away from the Wye Valley, one of Wales’ most famous Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Many studies have shown that bringing nature into or everyday lives and…

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Over our tree planting day, we managed to plant 70 oak and ten hazel saplings.

Ridgeway is Going Green: Tree Planting for Earth Day

Ridgeway is Going Green: Tree Planting for Earth Day Protecting our environment and reducing our carbon footprint are extremely important to us here at Ridgeway Research. We work closely with the agricultural sector and know how essential holding back climate change is. As global temperature increases and biodiversity loss is accelerated, agriculture is feeling the pinch. Carbon dioxide emissions With technology the way it is, at the moment, carbon emissions are an unfortunate fact of life. Although renewable energy and…

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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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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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Paratuberculosis (Johne’s Disease) in Cattle

Paratuberculosis (Johne’s disease) in Cattle What is Johne’s disease? Johne’s disease is an infectious disease in cattle and other ruminants. It is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, commonly known as MAP. It is closely related to the organism that causes tuberculosis and can survive on pasture for many months. The infection is very contagious and young animals are more susceptible to the disease than adults. This disease damages the intestines and results in persistent diarrhoea, weight loss…

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Calf Diseases: The Importance of Colostrum

Calf Diseases: The Importance of Colostrum In terms of survival, the first few weeks for a calf are particularly important. As their bodies are still developing, they are not yet primed to effectively fight illness. The colostrum they receive is a vital step in protecting them from disease. It is important for livestock farmers to be aware of these three common calf diseases and also to know what steps can be taken to prevent and treat them. What exactly puts…

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Moving Towards Sustainable Global Use of Veterinary Antibiotics

Moving Towards Sustainable Global Use of Veterinary Antibiotics Misuse of antibiotics Penicillin has saved millions of lives since its discovery in 1928 by the famous Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming. Since then, scientists have developed antibiotics further and now there are hundreds of different types. Across the world, these drugs treat bacterial infections from acne to meningitis. Similarly, antibiotics have quickly become vital in veterinary care. These days, the lives of millions of animals are improved thanks to these vital drugs.…

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Heat Detection: Is Your Heat Detection Method Ineffective?

Heat Detection: Is Your Heat Detection Method Ineffective? Why do we need heat detection? Heat detection is an essential component of the dairy industry. Missed or mistimed heats lead to increased calving periods and a resulting financial burden. Similarly, wasted Artificial Insemination (AI) and loss of pregnancies caused by mistiming of AI adds to this financial burden.  There is a plethora of heat detection aids on the market, ranging from simple mount detectors to fully automated robotic in-line systems. These…

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