Maximising the lifetime performance of animals is vital to production and sustainable agriculture. It should be the focus of every farmer, whether you have a small holding or a large operation like dairy farming or meat supply. There are a number of things you can do here. Primarily you should focus on promoting excellent animal health at every stage of an animal’s lifecycle.
Think about losses and costs
The thing to keep in mind here is health issues can seriously hurt production. It can fall by as much as 33% if you have problems with nutrition and welfare. That can be a huge loss of produce. Plus, it can harm efficiency so you don’t get as much out as you should for what you are putting in.
Even worse, the losses and costs can be much higher when you need to replace livestock due to disease and animal health problems. You will have to deal with the operational and economic costs first, particularly if you need to physically buy new animals to replace ill ones. There is a risk there too as you could introduce disease.
In addition, there are environmental costs to worry about here. There is always an impact on the environment when you raise animals. However, if it often an investment that can be offset by years of productivity. However, ill health can ruin this and mean you don’t get as much of a pay-off for the investment. It can be a big negative for the environment.
What to do?
As we said above, the best thing to do here is to look at animal health at every stage of the lifecycle. The goal should be to begin early on to create the foundations for healthy animals that will provide long term productivity. For example, the aim should be to ensure they have a strong immunity to parasites and diseases where possible.
It is also important to maintain the good health through the different stages of adulthood. That is especially vital with animals during pregnancy. Doing this will protect the pregnant animals and increase the chance of them having healthy offspring.
Even later in life it is crucial to continue monitoring and prioritising animal wellbeing. The big issue here is older animals can build a tolerance for medication. That can increase the risk of disease later in life.
Nutrition is always the best foundation
While there are a number of things you can do, including monitoring pasture conditions, nutrition should be right at the top of the list. It is the foundation of healthy livestock.
For example, with cattle you can ensure you have a nutritional plan that meets the needs of the animals. In turn it can support healthy skeletal growth, the utilisation of nutrients, fertility, and productivity. It can also tackle concerns such as lameness, ketosis, mastitis, and more.
A main focus here should be an effective digestive system. It is vital for digesting nutrients from the diet. That is always important as it is crucial for growth in early life, energy and weight management in adulthood, and wellbeing at all stages. Crucially, bad digestive health of can result in animals needing more feed, increasing costs. It can also hurt returns.
Speak to us about animal health
JS Hubbuck Ltd is a family run business that has been involved in agriculture for decades. We know how important sustainability is, especially when it comes to animals. That is why we offer a number of products to help. For example, we have animal feed, supplements, and even bedding. Our knowledge of the product ranges is exceptional, so we can advise all clients.
If you want to promote better lifetime animal health, we would love to assist you. Get in touch today and we can start working with you.