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New Zealand Highland Cattle Society Year Letter F

25th Anniversary of The NZHCS Spring 2018 Newsletter


President’s Report

November 2018

It is the 25th anniversary of the NZHCS, which was registered on 21 October 1993. Can you think which of the founding members is still breeding and registering their Highland Cattle? We will have more on this anniversary in the upcoming publication to celebrate this event. We are now well into Spring and for many of us, calving is nearly over and mating is under way. Usually we would be thinking about the A & P Shows but with the Mycoplasma Bovis issue still with us, there will be few, if any, showing their cattle . Hopefully this issue will be sorted procedurally during the next year as the New Zealand public are the poorer when they cannot view farm cattle at these shows. Once again we have had a very wet winter and with the ever-present threat of drought, we need to take advantage of the great Spring growth but also take steps to reduce stock to manageable levels if the feed disappears over summer and autumn. We don’t do ourselves, our farms, our stock or our reputations any good by running and selling stock in poor condition. The 2019 calendars will once again shortly be available for sale, and they make a great gift for Christmas. The price remains at $20 per calendar and postage for one or two calendars is $3.00 - $5.00 for 3 to 6 calendars. All photos are from our members, and once again, we encourage everyone to take photo opportunities throughout the year and to send them to us. Remember that the policy is the people cannot be included in the photos and nor can cattle standing in water. Please – at least 2MB resolution for the photos so they print well in A4 and no more than 10 photo submissions per person. The 2018 AGM in Methven was a great success and I hope many members will be encouraged to join us for the 2019 AGM which will be held on 25 May in West or North Auckland, details to be confirmed. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know other breeders throughout New Zealand and discuss issues that are important to all of us you regarding the breed in general and your cattle in particular. Christmas is almost upon us, so I take the opportunity to wish you all the very best for a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

by Doug Sheldon

Tagging of Cattle for Registration A reminder that there is a NZHCS rule which outlines how animals should be identified. This was amended by a unanimous vote at the AGM. Read more in the NZHCS Herdbook rules and regulations. The requirement is for both a primary and secondary tag. Primary tag is the NAIT tag, with the secondary or management tag containing the NZHCS information. e.g Te Mata Hills (TM) tag as follows; Primary – NAIT tag containing 15 digit internal number and a printed number. You can order a management tag set from your tag supplier which matches the primary and secondary tags. When you log into NAIT to record the animals the electronic number is also shown in the file and there is space to include other information such as a name. A tag reader may be required if you are moving animals but you can also simply find and select the animal in your NAIT files when doing a movement or change.

217347 NAIT number 18 Year 95 Animal number Secondary/management – NZHCS requirement TM Fold ID letters F Year letter 95 Animal number

If the tagging is not correct the Registrar is unable to complete the registration. You will be contacted with a request to rectify any issues. Also please ensure you include a DNA Tail Hair sample, in a paper envelope, with all heifer registration requests to the Registrar.


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The Highland Cattle Spring Check List Dr Laura Schwerdtfeger (BVSc, BSc) - The lifestyle Vet Calving is just around the corner, and along with it comes a whole new list of things to add to the husbandry ‘to do’ list. Vaccinating, drenching stock and monitoring the body condition of your animals pre-calving is always on this list. In this article, Veterinarian Dr Laura Schwerdtfeger from The Lifestyle Vet, provides cattle owners with some useful tips and tricks on how to carry out these husbandry activities and which products are recommended.

Crucial Clostridial Vaccinations Cattle are highly susceptible to a group of environmental bacteria called Clostridial bacteria. These bacteria live in the soil and can cause rapid death in unvaccinated animals. There are many different types of clostridial bacteria, and some of the more common ones include Tetanus, Blackleg and Pulpy Kidney. The bacteria live in the soil and can enter the animal either through eating grass contaminated with soil or through any open wounds (castration wounds, dehorning wounds etc). Clostridial bacteria cause severe illness and most animals die suddenly and unexpectedly. Prevention is key and is this can be achieved by implementing simple vaccination protocols.

• • •

All pregnant cattle should be vaccinated 1 month prior to calving. This will ensure that the calf is protected until it is 4-6 weeks of age. Calves should be vaccinated at 4-6 weeks of age followed by a booster vaccination 4 weeks after the first dose was given. All cattle require annual booster vaccinations to stay fully protected.

Remember, cattle must have TWO vaccinations 4 weeks apart to be fully protected. The first dose is called the priming dose and the second dose is the booster dose. If the booster dose is given more than 6 weeks after the priming dose was given then the animal will not be fully protected and you will have to start the vaccination course all over again. There are two types of vaccines that can be used to protect cattle from Clostridial bacteria. Ultravac 6 in 1 - This vaccine is superior to the Ultravac 5 in 1 vaccine. Recommended for use in valuable stock as it provides additional protection against Clostridium sordellii, a sudden death clostridial bug. Covexin 10 - this vaccine provides advanced Clostridial protection for high performance farms and farms feeding lots of crop and supplementary feed. This is the most advanced Clostridial vaccine available on the market.

“ULTRAVAC is a registered trade mark of Zoetis. ACVM Registration No. A10191”

Parasite Management Protecting the babies: Cattle are susceptible to a range of parasites from a young age. From the day they start nibbling at grass, calves are ingest ing parasitic larvae that live on the grass. Once inside the calf, these larvae grow to become adult worms which start to damage the gut lining. A damaged gut wall is unable to absorb nutrients as efficiently as it should. Over time, the calf will start to loose weight, develop diarrhoea (scours) and appear ill thrifty. To prevent reduced growth rates and poor condition in your calves they should be drenched from 8 weeks of age onwards. It is highly recommended to drench calves on a monthly basis as the life cycle of most gut parasites is 28 days. Make sure you use a reputable veterinary recommended double action drench such as Arrest C oral drench in your calves. Arrest C is a fantastic drench as it protects calves against gastrointestinal roundworms, lungworm, tapeworms and adult liver fluke parasites. Always ensure that you are dosing to the correct weight of the animal and NEVER give an underweight animal a double dose as this can be toxic! If in doubt and you don’t have scales, use a weigh band to determine the weight of your calf so you can dose accurately.

Protecting Your Adult Cattle: Cattle aged over 18 months of age that are on good quality feed have usually developed a relatively strong immune defence towards internal parasites. As such, they do not require drenching as frequently as you stock. Drenching 1-2 times a year, during spring and autumn, is usually sufficient to keep internal parasites at bay, however this is dependent on each individual farm block. Temperature, paddock size, nutrition, grazing methods, immunity and exposure to other diseases can all influence susceptibility of an animal to internal parasites. As a general rule, getting a simple faecal egg count done on your stock can tell you whether your stock require drenching or not. Remember to get a good range of samples. For example, skinnier, ill thrifty or scouring animals should always be amongst those chosen to be sampled. Eprinex and Eclipse are both fantastic top of the range pour-on options for adult cattle.

Body Condition Scoring your Cattle: Body condition scoring your cattle on a regular basis is a very important tool that is used to determine how much body fat (reserves) an animal has. Did you know that it takes about 1 month to put on 1 body condition? Body condition scoring is done on a 1-9 scale and will tell you whether you need to feed your animals more or less. Ideally, cattle should be scored every 2 weeks to keep your finger on the pulse and get on top of any issues before they affect the health of your stock. Since a 9 point system is generally used to body condition score cows, it is recommended to get your local vet out to show you how to body condition score your animals accurately.

Here are some basic rules of thumb when it comes to body condition scoring: Cow body condition at calving should range between 5 - 5.5 Dry stock body condition should range between 4 and 5 Over-fat cows (over 6) are prone to calving issues and have an increased risk of ketosis (fat cow syndrome). Underweight cows are generally those under a body condition of 3. These may suffer from reduced fertility and may be more susceptible to disease. Cows with a body condition score under 2.5 will need a veterinary certificate before they can travel, according to MPI’s fitness for transport guidelines.

Picture property of Dr Laura Schwerdtfeger (BVSc, BSc)

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FIELDAYS An annual event for Ginni Alexander and Catherine Atkinson The Fieldays, held at Mystery Creek, Hamilton is New Zealand’s major farming event of the year. Each year Ginni and Catherine are invited to attend the LJ Hooker Real-estate stand, along with some of their touchy-feely Highland animals. This year there was a bottle baby to add extra interest to the site. All animals behaved exceptionally well and with stood the constant combing and petting by many children and adults. Ginni and Catherine appreciate the assistance that other members provide during the 4 day event. A big thankyou to Alison Wilson, Cheryl Evans and Rachel Nooijen for your help this year.

Remember all past newsletters and

The Herd Books for the last 3 years have been completed and are on the website in the MEMBERS ONLY area to pe-

magazines are now on our website.

ruse at your leisure.

Safe Stock Handling Please be vigilant when handling stock as the quietest and wellhandled may still be unpredictable, particular care must be taken in confined spaces (yards, races etc) and when calving or with calves at foot.

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NZHCS Newsletter Spring 2018  

NZHCS Newsletter Spring 2018  

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