Acidosis and adaptation in sheep

Grain poisoning is commonly seen in sheep after consuming large quantities of grains that they have not been appropriately adapted to. This type of poisoning is the result of ruminal acidosis. Subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) may occur when livestock eat rations high in starch and low in fibre. The microbes in the rumen rapidly ferment…

Mycotoxins in stored grains – no use crying over spoiled milk

There is an age-old saying with timeless implications, ‘There is no use crying over spilt milk.’ Down the years, many people have taken note and applied this to various aspects of their lives. However, spilt milk and spoiled milk are the subject of completely different conversations. The one implies that we should not worry about…

Cow-centric pasture power

dairy cows on pasture

South African pasture-based dairy farmers are arguably the best grass farmers in the world, especially considering the harsh climate in which we farm so successfully. Our intense focus on pasture growth and harvest rates has served us well in the development of a robust and profitable pasture-based dairy industry. However, recent local and international developments…

The hidden milk thief – transition unit design

Reducing inflammation in the 30 days both pre- and post-calving can play a big role in improving lactation performance and lifetime productivity. In this series, we look at six major areas where a management focus will reduce the risk of excessive inflammation during the transition period. Last month we discussed the relationship between inflammation and…

Bacterial count in water

When you turn the key in your car in the morning, it just starts. Until the day it doesn’t, and your whole world falls apart. The mechanic tells you that contaminated fuel caused your engine to seize. Drinking water can be compared to fuel. Water is the most important nutrient for life, and contaminated water…

The stress of relocation

In any business, it is important to keep growing and improving your profit potential. The same applies to your beef cattle herd; you consistently need to improve your herd’s profit potential. One way of doing this is to improve your herd’s genetic potential to ensure optimal production. Artificial insemination (AI) is a great option for…