Unfortunately, the first sign that something is amiss is often when the cows are seen repeating or found empty on pregnancy diagnosis, by which point a lot of time has been lost and the calving pattern has been seriously disrupted. At The George Farm Vets, we provide a full bull fertility testing service using the latest in bull electro-ejaculator equipment. This enables us to collect samples from the bull without the need for a bulling cow, and with the bull safely restrained in a crush. A full physical examination of the bull is carried out at the same time and the results from the semen examination are available within 24 hours. The service can be used when buying a new bull, before introducing an existing bull after a period of inactivity or if a problem is identified.
We provide experienced advice on maximising conception rates, through correct nutrition and body condition scoring as well as the use of synchronisation programmes to tighten calving patterns, or to allow the use of AI for a more rapid genetic improvement across the herd.
The impact of nutrition and disease on fertility is well known, and we are well placed to advise on control and monitoring for problems within the herd.
For the best growth rates, the stock must be in the best of health. We are able to advise on treatment, worming and/or vaccination programmes for your herd, in response to historical or new disease challenges.
In terms of disease prevention we can also perform housing assessments – looking at stocking density and building ventilation with the practice smoke machine.
We are, of course, able to fulfil all the usual roles expected of cattle veterinarians, and whilst beef farms traditionally have less input than dairy clients, that input is no less important.
We advocate preventative healthcare wherever practicable and possible – understanding that the purchase of stock can be a significant risk factor for introducing disease to a naive herd, we recommend pre-purchase health status reports are obtained from the herd of origin. We arrange this by contacting the vendor’s vets with a health status request – we are then best placed to advise you if the stock will match your herd, and if any other tests should be performed prior to purchase.
We are aware of the different challenges facing our organic clients, and are experienced in working within the organic regulations. The practice’s focus on preventative medicine ties in closely with the organic principals, and it is an approach we encourage on all farms, organic and conventional.
Our Organic Discussion Group brings organic farmers together, on a regular basis, to share knowledge and experience on all aspects of cattle health and production. A lot of the group’s time is spent on farm trying to find practical ways to implement this knowledge in order to maximise profitability and improve animal health.
Cathy Morris has many years experience in homeopathy and is able to advise and dispense suitable remedies.
Clients benefit from a fully equipped in-house laboratory where we are able to perform a wide variety of diagnostic techniques. Blood and faecal tests, including worm egg and coccidial counts, are among some of the many we can carry out in-house.
All 14 vets are registered DEFRA Local Veterinary Inspectors, licensed to perform TB testing, abortion and anthrax enquiries.
We also have the ability to issue licenses for export of stock overseas, and to perform market and show inspections.
Since the introduction of pre-movement testing in 2007, and the obvious financial impact that comes with the extra testing, we have been charging all pre-movement tests as discounted visits with our hourly rates reduced by 20%.
The practice is equipped to provide our clients with fully approved British Cattle Veterinary Association Herd Health Plans, recognised as the gold standard of plans. Before a visit to do a Farm Health Plan, forms are sent out by the practice so the client can gather all relevant health and production information from the last 12 months. This enables us to pin point areas for discussion whilst on farm. The plan is reassessed on a yearly basis with the emphasis on improving animal health and herd profitability.