Jon Kelly to leave Warrnambool Veterinary

  Jon Kelly to leave Warrnambool Veterinary By Dr Stephen Jagoe It is with a lot of sadness that we will be losing Jon from Warrnambool Veterinary on July 21. Jon and his wife Jenny (who work at Warrnambool from 2000 to 2003) arrived in Warrnambool in 2005 after working in the UK, at Colac and Mt Gambier. In the last 12 years, they had had three children and established a strong presence in the Allansford community. Jon became a partner in the practice in 2007, and has driven the cattle side of the business to be one of the strongest in Victorian dairy practices. He has had a special interest in dairy cattle reproduction, and many of our clients will have been involved in trials Jon has designed and implemented. As a result of these trials, we now have a much better knowledge of the factors contributing to non-cycling cows in dairy herds, and have been able to demonstrate effective treatments for this group of animals. As part of the dairy cow fertility issue in dairy herds, Jon was one of the first to realise the potential of using heifer management to drive improvements in overall herd fertility. By undertaking trials looking at the effect of bodyweight on heifer fertility we are able to make sound evidence based recommendations on heifer management to achieve high fertility and productivity. From these trials, the Correct Weight program evolved with its associated benefits for our clients. Jon has also undertaken trials of the 10 day fixed time AI program we have recommended for many years, and has proven its benefits in...

Sexed semen Fixed Time AI Trial 2015–2016 Results

  Sexed semen Fixed Time AI Trial 2015–2016 Results By Dr Jon Kelly Background In 2015/16 WVC conducted a trial on 19 herds and 1780 dairy heifers to determine if conception rates using frozen sexed semen could be improved by altering the timing of AI, when a 12 day Fixed Time AI program was used. The reason the trial was conducted was because in a previous project by WVC, fertility using frozen sexed semen was improved when AI was delayed more than 50hrs post CIDR pull. Also, the sexed semen processors have proposed that fertility using sexed semen may be increased by timing AI closer to ovulation than what is usually necessary with conventional(non-sexed) frozen semen. Method To investigate if this effect could be achieved in Dairy heifers, the following trial protocol was followed, with age, weight, Body Condition Score(BCS),heat at the time of AI as well as timing of AI assessed for their effect on fertility. The key to the trial was altering the time of AI on Day 12. This was done by having half of the heifers AI’ed at approximately 48hrs post CIDR pull(Day10), while the other half of the heifers were AI’ed 3 hrs later. If more than 1 sire was used, then the sires were also equally distributed between the early and late groups. Timing of AI was deliberately instructed to begin “approximately” 48 hrs from CIDR pull as this would ensure that insemination would occur over a wide range of times. This was achieved with AI occurring from between 47 – 53 hours post CIDR pull (Day 10). Logistically, this means AI was...

Are Your Bulls Fertile?

  Are Your Bulls Fertile? By Dr Charlie Blackwood  Whilst many dairy farms are busy “AI ing” cows at the moment, they should consider the fertility of the bulls they will use at the end of the AI period. Implementing a BULL FERTILITY EXAMINATION ( called a Veterinary Bull Breeding Evaluation or VBBSE) on bulls prior to joining can detect bulls with low or poor fertility. Studies in Tasmania and South West Victoria have indicated a large proportion (45-50%) of prospective dairy bulls have been found to have low or very low fertility. Vibrio has also been found in the bulls. Disqualifications arose mainly from penile abnormalities, sperm defects and scrotal issues. Bulls should be tested 1 to 2 months before use to assess fertility. Remember, semen takes over 2 months to mature, meaning any nutritional or other upset can cause issues with semen quality. Parts of the VBBSE offered by WVC: Testicle and scrotum palpation and measurement Internal reproductive gland assessment Penis visualization and assessment Semen motility evaluation Semen morphological assessment – in the past this was rarely done.The recent studies show that this is possibly the most important part of the testing. Vibrio vaccination Common conditions found at VBBSE: Small scrotal size, internal reproductive organ lesions, penile lesions including scarring, warts and persistent frenulum. Semen motility and semen morphology have emerged as common causes for failure in the above studies on bull testing. Semen morphology - semen can appear normal under the microscope but have problems which make it infertile. An expert is able to pick up many of these problems. For this reason, we send the...

Another award for David Beggs!

  Another award for David Beggs! A huge congratulations to Dr Dave Beggs who was awarded a Fellowship Award at this year’s Australian Veterinary Association Conference in Melbourne. Fellows of the Australian Veterinary Association are members who have rendered outstanding service for the Association. This is the Association’s most senior award for service to the AVA and is awarded only for the most truly outstanding service. We only see Beggsy occasionally at Warrnambool Veterinary, but he still works here helping to coordinate and analyse our research projects and trials and assisting with the management of Melbourne University residents. He also makes sure the practice computer system works well, and works to upgrade and improve our software programs Dairy Data and Farm Cash. Away from the clinic Beggsy lectures Melbourne University students, and is in the process of writing up his PhD in cattle welfare. He spends a lot of time voluntarily as the Scientific Officer for the Australian Cattle Vets and helps organise Australian Veterinary Association conferences. In his spare time he is on a number of advisory committees such as the Australian Mastitis Council, the Veterinary Practitioners Board of Victoria, and the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. Warrnambool Veterinary is extremely proud to see Dave honoured with such a prestigious award and thanks him for all his contributions to making Warrnambool Veterinary and the cattle industries of Australia successful! Congratulations...

Coccidiosis – Looking after your calves!

  Coccidiosis – Looking after your calves! Coccidiosis has been seen on several farms around the district, renewing our need to ensure calves are protected! There are several ways this can be done, including medicated feeding, pasture management and proper hygiene. The Disease Coccidiosis is caused by a protozoal parasite that invades and multiplies in the cells lining the intestine. It causes severe, often blood-stained diarrhoea, and usually occurs in calves over three weeks of age. Factors that predispose to the development of coccidiosis include those of nutritional, climatic or management stresses, as well as other diseases. It is important to remember that coccidia can survive on pasture from year to year, so prevention is necessary every year! It is commonly associated with overstocked paddocks, or where there is poor pasture management. Calves become infected by licking the coats of infected herd mates or from the ground, walls or other contaminated surfaces. Calves usually contract the resilient and highly infectious coccidia in times of stress, such as when calves are weaned onto pasture. Control The disease is most commonly controlled with the use of a preventative (coccidiostat), such as Rumensin (Monensin), Lasalocid, or Decoquinate. These are usually added to calf pellets or as an additive in milk replacers. Monensin is required at a dose rate of 1mg/kg of body weight (BW) as a preventative, and is usually found in pellets at a dose of 50-100mg/kg of feed. This means that a 50kg calf needs to eat ½ to 1kg of pellets a day, depending on what pellet you are using. The most important note to take is that in...

Colostrum – Monitoring Quality & Prolonging Shelf-life

  Colostrum – Monitoring Quality & Prolonging Shelf Life By Dr Charlie Blackwood A BRIX REFRACTOMETER is the best way to give your calves the best quality colostrums. Read the article below then contact us about buying one. You do need to be shown how to use one. Why do I need One? It is impossible to tell just by looking, how good the colostrums is. High quality colostrums is critical. In the past we have used a Colostrometer to measure quality. Recently a thing called a BRIX REFRACTOMETER has been found to be even better. A refractometer, uses light to measure the quality of the colostrums (and sugar content of grapes, grasses etc in other fields) Advantages of a Brix Refractometer over colostrometer Much more accurate Not affected by temperature Optical ones more robust and compact Using an Optical Refractometer It takes a few attempts, but once you have worked it out, they are easy to use. You put 2 drops of the colostrums onto the glass plate, close the cover, point at the light then look through the eyepiece. You will see a blue line and you look at what number the line is on. The higher the number, the better the colostrums. High readings (>25% Brix) can be a bit blurry to read i.e. the blue-white line is a bit fuzzy. This doesn’t really matter because the low readings are very clear and as long as it’s above 22%Brix, then that is all we are interested in. Prolonging the shelf-life of colostrum In the short-term, if colostrum is not fed within 2 hours of collection it...