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Is your Bull up to the Job?
posted on Monday 22nd May 2023

Monday 22nd May 2023

A bull’s fertility is crucial to your herd’s performance and can be very costly if it goes wrong. Infertile bulls are rare and often easily discovered, however sub-fertile bulls are much more common, harder to identify and can be much more costly. Having a sub-fertile bull can lead to an elongated breeding period and a greater number of barren cows. This leads to a stretched calving period which in turn increases labour costs and causes a variation of calf ages within the group, leading to greater levels of disease such as pneumonia and scours, further increasing costs.

When should you test your bull?

We recommend annual pre-breeding examination, 6-8 weeks before the start of the breeding season. It has been found that a bulls fertility reduces each year from 24 months old and a lot can change from one year to the next. Also consider pre or post purchase examination, prior to sale and testing bulls suspected of having poor fertility.

Although bull fertility testing doesn’t guarantee fertility it is a really useful tool to screen out problem bulls before they cause an issue.

Have you seen our recent Special Edition Newsletters?
posted on Monday 22nd May 2023

Monday 22nd May 2023

We have created three species specific newsletters focusing on the parasites that may affect your flock/herd this Spring/Summer. We have editions for sheep, dairy and beef cattle so you can get the most accurate information based on the livestock you keep. We cover some of the most common parasites and their associating diseases that you should be aware and cautious of as well as the steps we should all be taking to support the appropriate use of anthelmintics. It is important to remember every farm is different. You may have different species and populations of parasites to even your neighbours, as well as varying grazing strategies and how that can play a role in parasite burdens. Creating an individual parasite control plan with one of the vets or SQPs will be of real benefit to your flock to control parasites in the most economical and appropriate ways.  

Visit the ‘Newsletter’ section on our website under ‘Vet Services’ to read more!

Fly Control – Don’t Delay!
posted on Tuesday 4th April 2023

Tuesday 4th April 2023

Why Treat?

Although we may just see flies as a nuisance, uncontrolled fly populations can significantly affect your livestock:

  • Reduced milk yield by up to 20%
  • Increased incidence of summer mastitis
  • Reduced calf weaning weights by up to 9kg
  • Reduced reproductive potential in sheep
  • Downgraded quality of wool clip 
  • Welfare issues in both species

When to Treat?

Different species of flies are active at varying times of the year. This means a summer long threat is present with waves of irritants emerging all season long. Regular, frequent treatment is required throughout the period of risk to keep existing flies, as well as any newly emerging populations, under control.

If you delay treatment until significant numbers of flies are noticeable, it is already too late to adequately control fly numbers! Reproduction of the existing population will have already commenced, meaning hundreds to thousands of eggs will be lurking in the surrounds, waiting to hatch and compound the problem.

Start treatment early before a problem even arises to maximise the success!

Are you prepared for lambing?
posted on Thursday 16th February 2023

Thursday 16th February 2023

With lambing just around the corner, it is important to ensure you are as prepared as possible. Make sure to have all of the necessary equipment, but also have the ability to recognise signs of disease. This is essential to ensure lambing runs smoothly and effectively. Even with the best planning, some things can still go wrong. It is important to recognise and know how to treat common conditions.

Common conditions in ewes include: Twin Lamb Disease; Low Calcium; Low Magnesium; Abortions; Prolapse.

Common conditions in lambs include: Hypothermia; Watery Mouth; Diarrhoea; Naval and Joint Ill.

Prevention is key! Ensuring adequate nutrition is extremely important. Pre-Lambing Bloods give us a great indicator of nutrition before lambing. Also, provision of good quality colostrum is essential for good lamb health, testing colostrum can be carried out to monitor the quality of your ewe’s colostrum.

See our Winter Newsletter for the full article!

Meet the team!
posted on Thursday 16th February 2023

Thursday 16th February 2023

David Mendez graduated from the University of Santiago, Spain in 2016 and joined our FVS team as a farm animal vet in November 2022. After graduating, David worked as a farm vet for 4 years in Spain. Argentina and Chile are among other countries in which he studied and worked. David came to work in the UK as a farm animal vet in 2020.

Alongside work, David is also studying a postgraduate degree in Msc International Animal Health with the University of Edinburgh. He also enjoys travelling, photography and walking with his dog.

Signs of when to call the vet – Lambing!
posted on Thursday 16th February 2023

Thursday 16th February 2023

Unfortunately, during lambing things don’t always go to plan. It is important for you to know when intervention is necessary, whether this by yourselves if you are confident to do so, or by a vet.

Has the ewe been straining for over an hour?

Has the lamb presented but not delivered?

Can you see signs of a prolapse?

Unusual behaviour?

Any signs of infection?

Christmas Opening Hours 2022
posted on Wednesday 21st December 2022

Wednesday 21st December 2022

The practice will be closed for the Christmas and New Year Bank holidays so please see below for our opening times.

Vets will still be available for emergencies 24/7.

We will be open again as normal from the 3rd of January 2023.

Mastitis in Ewes meeting Thursday 8th December
posted on Wednesday 30th November 2022

Wednesday 30th November 2022

Lambing time will soon be upon us and we would like to invite you to join us via Zoom to discuss the impacts mastitis can have on your flock. The session will be hosted by Rebecca Davenport from FVS and Matt Swanborough, Technical Vet from Hipra.

We will be discussing the causes of mastitis, further information we can gather from sample collection and preventative measures that may help to reduce the incidence on your farm.

The meeting will be held on the 8th December at 7:30pm, it is free of charge and held via Zoom so you can join from the comfort of your own home, the farm yard or even the tractor! Every attendee will be given a certificate of attendance for your training records.

To book your place, call the practice on 01664 567481 (option 2)

TBAS: Let’s stop TB
posted on Thursday 17th November 2022

Thursday 17th November 2022

Everyone who farms cattle has concerns over TB and the thought of an upcoming TB test may fill you with dread. But this where TBAS comes in. We are now working with TBAS to help you regain some control and prevent TB from becoming a problem on your farm. The TB Advisory Service (TBAS) is a government funded project that offers practical, farm specific, cost effective advice regarding the control of TB on farm. This free advice and support is aimed at managing TB as an infectious disease that can be controlled and its risks mitigated through biosecurity measures.

What services will benefit you?

On farm visits, telephone advice, badger sett surveys and personalised recommendations unique to your farms management plan - all with one of our own vets for familiarity!

The farm visits are completed by specially trained, independent vets. Gemma, one of our own farm vets has completed all of the necessary training and is now available to carry out the specialised, fully funded visits. If you wish to book in for this service, please contact our TB Coordinator.

What is involved?

The visits are designed to be delivered in two parts, the first part is an initial visit involving completion of a questionnaire and a farm walk to identify potential risks for the spread of TB from other cattle or wildlife sources. A list of four farm specific recommendations is generated for you, the farmer, to implement in order to reduce the risk of TB transmission on farm. All of these recommendations are designed to be practical, achievable and cost effective. With the new DEFRA grant structure due to be launched over the next few seasons, you may even be eligible to gain financial support to help you    implement the recommendations made in your initial visit.

The second part of the scheme involves a follow up visit from 3-6 months later, whereby the implementation of the recommendations is reviewed. Evidence must then be provided so that Gemma can submit a report to TBAS to show the completion of the two visits and provide feedback on results.

Who is this available to?

Visits are available to any farm with a CPH number, making camelids and other non-bovine species also eligible for the service. Visits are suitable for any farm regardless of your TB history. This is a great opportunity to reduce the likelihood of future outbreaks or to help manage current breakdowns.


Meet the team!
posted on Thursday 6th October 2022

Thursday 6th October 2022

Jess joined the team as a farm animal veterinary surgeon in August. Originally from Southampton, Jess studied veterinary medicine at Cambridge University and has now made the move to Leicestershire to join us at FVS! Jess caught the bug for farm veterinary during her second year of university after completing placements on dairy farms.

Cricket, cycling and open water swimming are just some of the activities Jess gets up to in her spare time. She has a love for exploring and adventures whilst walking. Jess is out and attending many farm calls and hopefully will get a chance to meet many of you very soon!