Farm Ireland

Thursday 21 September 2017

Digestive upsets causing trouble on farms

A number of farmers have had a lot of trouble with metabolic issues or digestive upsets.

They have put this down to how well the cows have been fed during the winter, especially where herds were supplemented with meal along with silage.

Others have also felt that there have been benefits from feeding straw in the dry cow diet.

However, there have been a few cases of ketosis on farm, with a farmer from Enniscorthy having had 6pc of the herd affected.

Heifers and cows would come in with no milk, with a sharp scent on the breath though still eating. A loss of body condition was also evident.


Successful treatment involved a 100ml oral dose of Chanatol and injections of anti-inflammatory and antibiotics over the following four days. Mitchell Hayes from Blarney, Co Cork, experienced one case of ketosis out 125 calvings and the cow in question calved in exceptional condition, milked heavily but experienced a substantial loss of condition in a short period.

Seeking veterinary advice is often the best method for diagnosis and treatment as other conditions such as displacement of the abomasums can lead to secondary ketosis.

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Irish Independent