Massey University will hold a Wiltshire field day on 1 June.

The interest in the self-shedding Wiltshire sheep has prompted Massey University to run a special field day at their Riverside farm near Masterton on 1 June.

Lambs under the age of six months can be docked by a competent person using either a hot iron or rubber ring and the length of the docked tail must be no shorter than the end of the caudal fold.

New animal welfare regulations come into effect on 9 May. These will affect many common procedures carried out on farms, such as tall docking and treatment of bearings.

Hogget breeding can be used to increase the total number of lambs weaned on a farm each year if managed correctly.

Bioeconomic modelling, published by Massey University PhD student Lydia Farrell in 2020 and more recent work by the team, has shown that adding hogget breeding to a North Island hill country property would increase cash operating surplus.

Farmer Henry Hendricks (right), with ACR Group's Richard Morgan, says the mats are easy to keep clean with a tractor scraper.

Rubber matting for cow comfort is well established in the northern hemisphere, where dairy herds can be housed for up to 180 days during the winter.

 
Breeding for increased tolerance to FE should be the first line of defence.

Facial Eczema (FE) is caused by spores of a fungus growing on the litter in the base of the sward.

 
Field trials of the spot-on, lamb parasite treatment performed better than expected, even outperforming triple oral drenches.

The average sheep farmer is in their late 50s and the labour-intensive task of drenching lambs becomes more physically demanding with each passing year.

M.bovis review head Nicola Shadbolt says it is not a witch-hunt.

Ministry for Primary Industries director general Ray Smith says his organisation absolutely supports a review into the handling of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak.

The demand for Wiltshire sheep is “incredible and unbelievable”, according to the country’s major breeder of the sheep that sheds its wool.

MPI says a significant amount of work is under way this year to update animal welfare codes and provide updated advice to farmers for issues such as heat stress.

Hawke's Bay dairy farmer Rose Galloway rejects any suggestion that mastitis in cows isn't contagious. A trained nurse, Galloway and her family milk 550 cows near Norsewood and says mastitis is caused by pathogens entering the cow's udder through the teat canal and can pass onto other cows. She explains:

Facial eczema (FE) spore counts in some parts of the country are particularly high for this time of year and Beef + Lamb New Zealand is urging farmers to be extra vigilant.

Warm wet weather in many areas of the country creates the perfect conditions for the production-limiting diseases flystrike and facial eczema (FE).

A promising new test for Johne’s disease in dairy cattle has been developed at the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) and School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast.

Sheep farmers should be investing in proven, worm resistant genetics this breeding season to future proof their businesses’ bottom lines.

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