Dr Sarah Matthews Have you ever had a heifer with a spontaneously broken leg? Or young stock that have light, scruffy coats and struggle to put on weight? If you have, then you are not alone. Copper and selenium are two of the key trace elements required by cattle for growth, production and good health.
A short, 22 second video of bacteria multiplying was doing the rounds of the internet last week. But why did it have so many scientists excited? First, a bit of an explanation about how bacteria grow and multiply… What do bacteria look like? Bacteria are single cell organisms and can be round, rod-shaped or wavy.
Lungworm, caused by the round worm Dictyocaulus viviparus, generally occurs in heifers less than 10 months of age. In particular, those heifers with no immunity that are exposed to high numbers of worm larvae when put onto pasture (such as a group of Spring-born calves weaned onto pasture grazed by Autumn calves). Lungworm disease can
Last week was #InternationalMicroorganismDay, so we thought we'd shine the light on some of the microbes that can be the most frustrating: those that cause calf scours! The microbes that cause calf scours (aka calf diarrhoea) can be viruses, bacteria and/or protozoa that damage the lining of the gut. This means that the milk and
Toxicities that cause disease and death of calves are luckily few and far between. When they do occur – sometimes from a simple mistake - it is extremely upsetting for those involved. But if we can use the bad as a timely reminder, we can help ensure it doesn't happen to anyone else. Recently
If you look down at a mix of clover, daisies and dandelions in Australia it doesn't seem particularly special. But high up in the mountains of France or Switzerland, they become something amazing! These mountain pastures, known as "alpage", are part of a particular type of farming that holds an important place in French and
When a calf is born, it's stomach (the abomasum) is 2–4 litres in size. It secretes enzymes that digest milk, providing the calf with energy and protein for growth. However, over time, we need to turn a calf's stomach into a cow’s stomach: a 150–200 litre rumen where microbial enzymes do the digestion to provide
I was recently asked how a cow sees the world and thought it would be worth posting something that I prepared for The Milk Maid Marian a number of years ago. The biology of how cows see the world and the behaviour that results is an interesting topic! Where it all began... Domestication of wild
Mastitis in cows can be caused by many different bacteria. But knowing which bacteria is causing a problem on farm helps focus efforts to prevent new infections. The photo below is of two milk cultures that were recently done at one of our clinics. The agar plates we use have three different types of agar:
Lame cows are frustrating, especially when the weather – which we have no control over – plays such a big part in increasing the risk of sore feet. Below are several things you can do to minimise the risk of lameness in wet conditions. This, in turn, will reduce the stress on your farm team