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bull fertility

DIY AI – Defra accredited

Trainees will be able to discuss the regulations governing AI in the UK and describe the theory of safe semen handling and AI technique.   They will be able to carry out correct AI technique using abattoir specimens or models before progressing onto be able to safely perform AI in live cows to DEFRA approved standards

    • Know the legislation governing AI in the UK
    • Describe the structure and function of a semen storage flask
    • Carry out safe handling and maintenance of a semen storage flask
    • Practice safe and correct semen handling technique
    • Learn the two stage theory of AI technique
    • Identify key anatomical features outlined in Fertility Module 1 on an abattoir specimen or model
    • Prepare and load a 25cc AI gun
    • Using correct technique, pass the AI gun through the cervix of the specimen or model and relate this to the AI theory
    • Accurately identify anatomical landmarks relevant to AI by manual palpation
    • Gain practical experience of the techniques covered in AI theory
    • Achieve a level of competence with AI technique DEFRA certified by the instructorPic 3 - Measuring scrotal circumference


    Delegates will be able to describe normal bovine oestrus cycles and the steps involved in the establishment of pregnancy and relate this to anatomy, physiology and reproductive behaviour.  They will gain knowledge of the events from insemination to birth and know the basic procedures involved in care of the parturient cow and calf.  Critically evaluate herd reproductive efficiency

    Categorise the major causes of infertility and the areas relating to their control.  Understand the basic aetiology and risk factors for the major infectious diseases and implement effective control plans.

    • Name the key features of female bovine reproductive anatomy
    • Know the two phases of the oestrus cycle.
    • Name the two major, normal ovarian structures present during each phase and the hormones produced by these structures
    • Know the behavioural signs of oestrus and how this relates to the oestrus cycle
    • Understand the relationship between timing of insemination and reproductive success
    • Understand the steps involved in establishment of pregnancy
    • Appreciate the development of the foetus in each trimester of pregnancy
    • Know the three stages of labour
    • Recognise the different presentations of dystocia
    • Understand how and when to assist a calving cow / heifer
    • Be able to keep and maintain the necessary equipment for assisted delivery
    • Undertake an ABC assessment of the neo-natal calf and provide care and first aid
    • Understand the various measures of fertility which are available
    • Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the different measures
    • Analyse the reproductive efficiency of a dairy herd
    • Identify potential causes of poor reproductive performance
    • Define, list the key etiological factors and understand how the following diseases are detected and treated:
    • Understand the key areas of prevention

    Cattle Mobility / Foot Trimming

    Trainees will be able to describe normal bovine locomotion, identify the important anatomical features of the bovine foot and their relation to basic physiological function. Using this knowledge they will be able to describe the 4 stage dutch cattle foot trimming method and relate each step to key physiological principles.

    • Describe normal bovine locomotion and relate this to Dairy Co mobility score.
    • Recognise lameness and grade severity
    • List the key features of  bovine foot anatomy Relate these anatomical features to key aspects of physiology – blood supply, normal claw horn growth & overgrowth
    • Understand the theory of the ‘Dutch method’
    • Safely restrain a cow and pick up feet using a foot crush
    • Apply the theoretical knowledge of preventative trimming practically
    • Practically re-enforce the key anatomical & physiological principles learned in and relate this back to the practical application of the ‘Dutch method’
    • Recognise the causes of foot lameness in cattle (sole ulcer, white line separation & abscess, Digital dermatitis, Inter-digital necro-bacillosis, Heel erosion, Inter-digital hyperplasia)
    • Describe the basic aetiology of sole ulcer & white line disease and relate this to anatomy & physiology learned in and the specific risk factors for claw horn disease
    • Describe Dutch curative foot trimming theory and relate this to lameness aetiology and the anatomy and physiology learned
    • Know when and how to apply blocks
    • Know when and how to apply medical treatments or seek specialist / veterinary attention

    NutritionCNV00078 (414x622)

    Introduction to Bovine Nutrition: anatomy, physiology, metabolism.  Trainees will be able to describe the basic anatomy & physiology of bovine nutrition and use this knowledge as a platform for developing understanding of practical feed management on farm.

    • List the key features of bovine digestive anatomy (rumen, reticulum, omasum, abomasum, small
    • intestine, large intestine)
    • List the main factors affecting VFI
    • Describe the basic physiological processes of ruminant digestion and metabolism.

    Safe and Effective use of Veterinary Medicines

    The workshop aims to increase trainees’ knowledge of safety and good practice as well as outlining the legislative requirements for on farm medicines use. The course also aims to increase trainees’ understanding about the different types of medicines used and how these relate to the common diseases relevant to their farms.

    • Safely administer veterinary medicines to animals under their care
    • Store and maintain medicines on farm in accordance with legislation and farm assurance requirements.
    • Record on farm medicine usage in accordance with legislation and farm assurance requirements.
    • Describe the difference between vaccines and treatments and the different legislative classes
    • Describe basic differences that exist between different classes of antibiotic and the need for veterinary guidance for their use
    • Describe the basic classes of anthelmintics and the need for veterinary or SQP guidance on their use
    • Understand the actions of an NSAID and when they should be used.
    • Understand the responsibility of those administrating medicines to farm animals

    Preparation for Calving

    Trainees will learn how to minimise calving problems by planned management of cows before and during calving.

    • Understand pre-calving management to improve calf viability, including nutrition and vaccination.  Know target body condition scores for calving and how to achieve these targets
    • Know how to provide a good calving environment, especially for housed cattle.   Know target stocking densities
    • Provide good handling facilities for animals with difficult births or caesareans
    • Know what action should be taken if abortions or stillbirths occur.  Understand the importance of isolation facilities
    • Understand the benefits of trace element monitoring in the pre-calving period
    • Know the options for colostrum supplementation and the risks of sourcing colostrum from another farm
    • Be prepared for dystocia and know when to call the veterinary surgeon
    • Understand heifer management to reduce dystocia, including target mating weight and EBV or sires used on heifers

    CALF REARING – Birth to Weaning

    Trainees will be able to plan and prepare for successful heifer production, conduct basic first aid in the neo-natal calf and provide appropriate management to ensure maximum survival rates.

    • Produce a plan from birth to calving
    • Assess the body condition of the dam
    • Know how best to set up and run a calving system
    • Evaluate a calf’s ABC (Airway, Breathing, Circulation)
    • List the major roles of colostrum: energy, warmth, laxative, passive transfer
    • Know the correct amount and time frame for colostrum intake
    • Know how to administer supplementary colostrum safely
    • Appreciate that colostrum does not need to clot in the abomasum in the same way as milkcandbullc

Heifer Rearing – Bulling to First Calving

Trainees will be able to set targets and manage heifers to minimise problems for the calving heifer, maximise calf survival and heifer lifetime productivity.

  • Describe the optimum age and condition of heifers at calving
  • Explain the problems of over or under condition in these animals
  • Discuss the advantages of an integrated approach to heifer pre-calving management
  • Understand the pros and cons of AI, Synchronisation and Natural Service
  • Set targets for heifer calving: age, weight, height
  • Know which preventative medicines and routine treatments are most effective for the major diseases

Understanding and Treating Liver Fluke in Cattle and Sheet

The aim of the unit is to support learners to identify targeted treatments for liverfluke in sheep and cattle to improve health and welfare, reduce potential resistance to treatments and potentially increase profitability within a linked supply chain

  • Understand the life cycle of liverfluke and the consequences of herd/flock infection.
  • State the functions of the liver.
  • Give the symptoms and effects of liverfluke.
  • State the lifecycle of liverfluke
  • Identify the conditions in which liverfluke can occur.
  • Understand potential treatment options for all stages of the liverfluke parasite.
  • Give examples of potential treatments that can be used to treat the three stages of liverfluke.
  • Be able to administer treatment for liverfluke.
  • Select and calibrate equipment to administer treatment for liverfluke.
  • Select the heaviest animal to establish optimum dosing level.
  • Handle stock into a pen.
  • Use the correct process to administer a dose of liverfluke treatment
  • Carry out procedures with due regard to health and safety of self and others.

 Cattle Practical Techniques Workshop

A practical workshop covering the main areas of cattle husbandry.  Delegates will learn the correct method of a number of practical techniques to take back and use on farm.

  • Be able to stomach tube a calf/cow safely
  • Be confident to raise jugular vein in cow & identify it, be happy with technique for inserting needle (done on model)
  • Calving techniques
  • Be competant at taking a sterile milk sample, correct drying off technique/orbeseal insertion
  • Calf rearing – incl feeding and housing
  • Be able to give local anaesthetic and disbud calves safely.
  • Accuratley BCS and mobility score cows.
  • beef cows

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