What’s wrong with the traditional veterinary services on farms?
Cost:benefit ratio may not favour intervention with treating single animalsFocus on treatment means the cost of disease is replaced by the cost of treatmentSub-clinical disease often ignoredNo integrated approach meaning many diseases influenced by husbandry
What can be key in eliminating a vast number of diseases on farms?
Good animal management
What is the best approach to dealing with disease on farms?
Herd/flock health approachFocus on preventionIntegrate health management with husbandry and business managementProduce a health plan
What are the 7 steps in investigating problems on farms?
- Define problem2. History3. Distance examination4. Clinical examination +/- PME5. Ancillary aids/further diagnostics6. Analysis and decision making7. Reporting back and further monitoring
What are the two key problems on farms?
What should we refine with herd problems?
Whether the whole group is affected or only certain individuals
What data can we use to define the problem with herd problems?
WeightsSlaughter recordsScanning/PD resultsCalving/lambing data
How can slaughter records help us with defining a problem?
Tells us if it is taking the farmer longer to reach slaughter weight each yearSuggests poor gain and possible an area to investigate
How can scanning results be used to help define herd problems?
Tells us if the animals are pregnant in the first placeAlso where animals are being lost
What are the main things to check with history taking on farms?
General things - type of sheep, number etc.ManagementPredisposing factorsClinical signs and progressionTemporal and spatial patterns - time of the year/pastureMedicines book
When does the environment examination on the farm begin?
As soon as you drive onto the farm
What does a large amount of wool on wire fences suggest?
Parasite problem - sheep scab
What things should be picked up on when examining the group?
Are they all OKAre there individuals that need looking atScourDiarrhoeaNasal discharge
What should be done if individual animals are indentified as sick?
Removed from herd and carefully examined
What things can we look at in an individual animal with a herd problem?
AgeBCSTemperatureHeart rateRespiration rateRumination rateHydration statusMucous membranes
What parasite can be diagnosed by pale mucous membranes, diarrhoea and weight loss?
If no dead animals are present what is an alternative to carry out a PME?
Kill a small number of the herd as low individual value
What needs to be ensured with PME to determine disease?
Sample size is correct - how sure are we about certain diseases
What should also be done when carrying out a PME?
Collection of samples for further analysis
What do PME costs need to be balanced against?
Cost of disposalAnte-mortem testsOther animals dyingProduction loss
What should you have before carrying out further diagnostic tests?
A pretty clear idea of what is occuring on the farm
What should diagnostic tests be used for in herd problems?
Confirming your diagnosis and giving a good basis for carrying out treatments
What do you need to be able to do if you decide to carry out diagnostic tests?
Justify every test you do - will the result allow you to move onto the next step
What needs to be decided with herd problems?
Is an abnormality present?If so, what is it?Is treatment possible or warranted?
What areas may it be better to focus attention and funds instead of treatment?
What are the two things to be thought about when preventing/minimizing the problem?
Short term goalsLong term goals
What are many production animal problems related to?
Management - intervention or change required for long term prevention
What are some examples of management changes that can help control disease?
Reduce stocking densityChange nutrition or feeding systemDon’t mix groupsBuy from disease-free herdsQuarantine of new animals
What do all changes to management need to be?
What needs to be decided when looking at diseases?
What are the predisposing factors?How can we reduce factors?Is a vaccine available and is it economically justified?Can it be eradicated?Is it feasible to do so?
Why are reports useful in herd health problems?
Clarify thoughts for both you and farmerWritten document that can be referred back toPoor record keeping is often a problem in large animal practice
Why is future monitoring important in herd health problems?
Correct course of action in many casesOn-going contact with farmerMay lead to further work/greater involvement
Define poor thrift
Failure to achieve target weight at a certain ageVery low BCS
What is poor thrift in young animals?
Failure to gain weight as expected
What do you need to know with poor thrift in young animals?
Target growth rates
What will target growth rates vary with?
SpeciesBreedAgeFeeding systemFarm management
What sort of problem is poor thrift in farm animals?
Herd/flock problemLarge numbers affectedVery expensive
What are some key times of the year where thin adults are a problem?
Mating - increased anoestrous length and decreased conception and ovulation ratesEarly pregnancy - decreased placental developmentLate pregnancy - increased metabolic disease riskLactation - decreased milk production
What are the two reasons thin adult animals are a problem?
What are the two ways we can assess poor thrift in adult animals?
What does the weight of an animal adult vary with?
AgeBreedGut-fillStage of production cycle
What should be suspected with weight loss, normal appetite and adequqate nutrition?
Maldigestion or malabsorption(Parasitism, Johnes disease, tumours etc.)
What should be suspected with poor thrift, normal appetite and inadequte nutrition?
Under-feedingTrace element deficiency
What should be suspected with poor thrift, abnormal appetite and won’t eat?
What should be suspected with poor thrift, abnormal appetite and can’t eat?
Dental diseaseSevere lameness
If most or all of a herd are affected with normal appetite and adequate nutrition, what is most likely occuring?
Parasitism - nematodes, liver fluke or coccidiosis
What should be suspected with normal appetite, adequte nutrition but only one or two animals affected at one time?
Johne’s diseasTumoursChronic disease
What members of a herd are affected by inadequate nutrition?
All or most of the group
What are the two ways underfeeding can occur?
Quantity is inadequateQuality is inadequate
What is not normally obvious to farmers when assessing farm animals?
What proportion of the herd does dental disease or lameness affect?
What things should be noted during distance examination of farm animals?
General informationHusbandry situation and environmentAttitude and demeanour of animalsSize, weight and variation within groupHair coat/skin/fleeceLameness or limb abnormalitiesDiarrhoea or evidence of diarrhoeaLesionsCoughingSMell
What can you observe here?
Aberdeen Angus heifers between 1-2 years of ageAppropriately identifiedOutdoors in a penMuddy underfoot conditionsStocking density difficult to judgeNo evidence of forageAppear bright and alertDifficult to estimate weight from picture (300-350kg)All of similar sizeGenerally in good body condition with good coatEvidence of diarrhoea - extensive faecal staining
What can you observe here?
Crossbred mulesOutdoors with short, poor quality grazing grassModerate to low stocking densityMost grazing and alertCrayon marks on rump so mating harnesses usedHard to tell if any are separatedAll appear similar size (60-70kg)Fine fleece conditionClear lameness evidence - left foreground
What is the majority of livestock found in?
Extensive livestock systems
What are the three things that extensive livestock systems have?
Low levels of inputsLimited labour inputsSmall amounts of product per unit of land and per animal
Where are extensive livestock systems generally found?
Areas with limited potential for alternative land useAreas distant from urban populations
What three things are needed to be able to produce animals on extensive livestock farms?
What competition is there for resources needed for extensive farming systems?
Other agricultural activitiesOff-farm activities
Why is the need for resources not always constant in extensive livestock systems?
Can be peaks in resource demand throughout the year e.g. lambing in sheep
What can extensive livestock systems help to make use of?
Underutilised resources e.g. sheep in wheat systems (Australia), turnip tops (UK)
What does the complexity of resource allocation depend on?
Farming system that the extensively kept livestock are part of
What are the three areas in the UK farming system?
Hill areasUpland areasLowland areas
Describe hill areas in the UK
Poor landHarsh climatesLow stocking ratesExtensively kept sheep often only enterprise
Describe upland areas in the UK
More favourable landMore favourable climateSheep may be component of other systems
Describe lowland areas in the UK
Land and climate favourable to croppingSheep are one of many enterprisesSheep may be integrated into general farm system
What proportion are veterinary services and medicine in the cost structure of extensive livestock systems?
What can veterinary medicine influence within the cost structure of extensive livestock systems?
Efficiency of feed and forageOverall productivity of the unit
What can veterinary advice have an impact on in extensive livestock systems?
Labour and skill needs - more needed?Equipment
What things does a veterinarian’s advice have an impact or influence on?
Impacts on health and welfare of livestockInfluences use of farm resourcesInfluences how efficiently key resources are used
What do we need to understand to ensure tailored advice to extensive livestock systems?
What things can good awareness of business aspects of farm allow us to do?
Reduce risk to client’s incomeImprove client’s incomeImprove wellbeing client and family
What three things does gross margin look at? Which does it not actually take into account?
OutputVariable costsFixed costs
What are some examples of non-forage variable costs in grazing livestock?
ConcentratesPurchased roughagesVeterinary care and medicinesMiscellaneous
What are some examples of forage variable costs in grazing livestock?
SeedFertiliserSprays and chemicalsContractsCasual labourMiscellaneous
What do we have to balance when estimating losses in extensive farming systems?
Losses and additional costs in correcting these losses
Which type of losses are usually seen by farmers and call you out for?
What type of loss are more difficult to communicate to farmers?
Give some examples of visible losses in extensive livestock systems
Dead animalsThin animalsPoor developmentLow returnsPoor quality products
Give some examples of invisible losses in extensive livestock systems
Fertility problemsChange in herd structureDelay in sale of animals and productsPublic health costsHigh prices for livestock and products
What are some examples of additional costs in extensive livestock systems?
MedicinesVaccinesInsecticideTimeTreatment of products
How can revenue be lost in extensive livestock systems?
Access to better markets deniedSub-optimal use of technology
What do we need to balance to ensure farmers think treatment is worth it?
Impact caused by disease and impact caused by human reaction on revenue
When would it be logical for a farmer to invest in a treatment/control method?
When avoidable losses are greater than costs of a change in disease status
What is partial budgeting?
Comparing additional costs with additional benefits
What are the four basic items that partial budget analysis is interested in?
New costsRevenue foregoneCosts savedNew revenue
What are new costs in extensive livestock systems?
Those that directly relate to implementation of an intervention programme
What are some examples of new costs in animal health interventions?
VaccinesDisinfectantsDrugs and medicinesInfrastructure (dipping tanks, races, etc.)PaymentsTime of farmer and workersAdditional feed, forage etc.
What is revenue foregone?
Income sacrificed by making a change
What are some examples of revenue foregone in extensive livestock systems?
Salvage value of animals with diseaseValue of products produced from diseased or dead animals
What are costs saved?
Costs related to expenditure caused by presence of disease that won’t exist if it is eradicated or reduced by controls
What are some examples of costs saved in animal health programmes?
Treatments of sick animalsTime needed to care for sick animalsVaccine costsLabour needed to apply vaccine
What is new revenue?
Extra income generated by an intervention that changes health status
What are some examples of new revenue in extensive livestock systems?
Greater number of animals producedHigher level of product producedIncrease in price of animals or products