Animal Health and Welfare
By improving the health of the breeding flock and herd farmers can ensure that the breeding stock has optimum longevity, while improving the health of finishing stock could lead to animals being marketed earlier. Both scenarios would lead to a more productive and therefore profitable enterprise while lowering GHG emissions.
Replacing stock can be costly therefore ensuring that breeding animals remain as productive as possible on the farm can have economic and environmental benefits. Ensuring that all rams and bulls on the farm are fit and healthy prior to use will lower the barren rate in both the sheep flock and cattle herd.
The use of female stock with enhanced fertility levels and longevity traits will improve production, as will the provision of correct nutrition when rearing breeding females and during breeding season.
Animal health plans are now common place; however the most effective plans are those that are devised by the farmer in conjunction with the farm’s veterinary surgeon/advisor. By getting a vet involved in the process a farmer can ensure access to the latest health issues and technologies as well as gaining valuable advice.
The following publications have been produced by HCC on Animal Health and Welfare: