As livestock continue to head indoors for the winter period, implementing good hygiene procedures on the farm is paramount, in order to prevent disease and keep your animals in full-health and in top performance.
We have provided a number of guidelines that farmers can follow to help achieve this:
- Follow basic hygiene rules.
- Clip cattle- Clip their tails and shave their backs- Animals will be cleaner and clipping also prevents sweating. See Clean Livestock Policy here.
- Use lime that is registered as an approved disinfectant or an alternative highly effective disinfectant.
- Change animal bedding regularly.
- Clean sheds regularly. (Power-hoose/power-wash and disinfect.)
- Have clean lying areas allocated for animals.
- Disinfect pens between animal movements.
- Have isolation facilities available for sick/injured animals.
- Ensure cattle have adequate ventilation to allow for sufficient air exchange.
- Ensure livestock have access to a clean supply of water.
- Allow animals to have adequate space that they require, as overstock pens tend to result in dirtier cattle.
- Slats/ Straw Breeding? -Select a suitable housing option- Research conducted by Teagasc, Grange Research Centre and the Agricultural Research Institute Northern Ireland reviewed farm practices and the way they affect cattle cleanliness. Cattle on slats were found to be dirtier than those housed on straw bedding, but it is important to remember that straw has to be properly managed to achieve this.