To wether, crypto or leave ram lambs entire?

Every docking season, an on-farm management decision is made around whether ram lambs are left entire, to castrate (wether) or push the testes back into the body cavity (crypto). Lots of research has been done on this topic, yet there is still plenty of debate as to what is best on farm. Some farmers base their decision on management factors i.e. less chance of ewe hoggets being mated, reduced ram behaviour, less chance of spreading Brucella ovis or less crutching. However, some farmers base their decisions on economics, with the overall perception that ram lambs will be the fastest growing. A research trial was undertaken by Massey University to answer this question. It found: there was no

Bloat in cattle

We have seen an early onset of bloat in cattle this year. After the mild winter, pasture has an abundance of legumes (clover) at the moment and once the rain stops and sun comes out, the clover is going to grow at even faster rates. Bloat is the over-distention of the rumen caused by the formation of a stable foam. Once a foam has formed, gas produced in the normal fermentation process is unable to be “burped” out. The foam is caused by a foaming agent on the leaves of the legumes such as clover and lucerne. Usually the first sign of bloat is swelling in the left sided paunch of the cattle beast. The animal becomes uncomfortable very quickly. Signs of this include getting up and down fre

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