Part of our Virtual Field Day Series, join us on Tuesday, August 24, for Livestock Management. Participants will hear from Perennia specialists on a variety of topics followed by a question-answer period.
Silage Bunk Density
Specialist: Dan Mosley, Dairy Specialist
Description: Achieving great silage bunk density is extremely important for two main reasons. Spongy, porous bunks allow air into the silage, increasing the rate at which it spoils during storage and feedout. These losses can range from 10% to more than 25% of the harvested crop. Secondly, a more densely packed bunk reduces the cost per tonne of forage ensiled by increasing the storage capacity. This can also negate the need for additional storage. We will focus on trailed silage packers and the potential benefits they can bring to ensiling. These can cost in the region of $10,000. However, their ability to help achieve higher bunk dry matter density could mean money well spent.
Monitoring Effectiveness of Anthelmintics in Sheep
Specialist: Katie Trottier, Ruminant Livestock Specialist
Description: Internal parasites can pose a major challenge to sheep producers. Barber-pole worms, in particular, can cause significant health and production concerns; a heavy worm burden can consume up to 10% of a sheep’s blood in 24 hours. This resulting anemia can cause huge decreases in productivity or death in stressful situations. Limited access to different dewormers and/or non-strategic use has caused widespread resistance to develop in different parasite species. One way to monitor the effectiveness of anthelmintics in your own flock is by performing fecal egg counts. Join us as we talk with Dr. Gwyneth Jones, a retired parasitologist from St Mary’s University, to learn how you can determine worm load estimates in your sheep using a simple microscope and other non-specialized equipment at home.
Alternate bedding material for Poultry Production
Specialist: Heather McLean, Non-Ruminant Specialist
Description: Traditionally, poultry producers have used wood shavings or straw for bedding in their barns. Concerns around accessibility and/or cost of shavings and straw have increased interest in alternate bedding sources in recent years. The quality of a bedding source is of great concern to producers as it affects performance, health, carcass quality and the welfare of the birds. At the same time, it must be relatively easy to manage when spreading in the barn in preparation for a new flock and when cleaning out the litter once the birds have gone to market, and be an appropriate material for spreading on fields after clean-out. Sand is one bedding material that has gotten a lot of discussion over the last number of months, and we will be talking with a broiler producer that has been using it for over a year. We will follow a flock through both of his barns, discussing how it has worked for him and what he’s learned along the way.