Our Farm Vets are Trained to Train

When people think of a day in the life of a farm vet, they immediately assume that we spend all of our time knee deep in muck with our arms up a cows bottom and for the main part they are right, and it's the “dirty work” that attracts many of us into practice! Having said that, a very important aspect of our work which is rarely considered by the public is that of education.

The provision of training for people who work with livestock on a day to day basis is something that as a team the Larkmead vets feel passionately about. As such, all of us have been independently “trained to train” and we regularly provide either on-farm or classroom based practical courses in a wide number of subjects across the species.

Recently, Julia, Max and I have been delivering a series of training sessions on behalf of AHDB Pork in Salisbury, covering pig production from the selection of breeding stock, all the way through farrowing, to the production and management of the finished market pig. It was my turn last week, and my subject area was “management of the replacement gilts and dry sows”. I had a great group of 15 stock people from a variety of different production systems (from 10 to 1000 sows) who worked really well together to share their experiences in these areas and solve the problems that we discussed together.

We used a variety of group problem solving exercises, interactive scenario based teaching, with videos and some powerpoint work to look at the practical aspects of gilt rearing, selection and preparation for service. We then moved on to consider pregnancy detection, why some pregnancies fail and how to recognise when a unit has a problem. We finished off with the nuts and bolts of looking after the dry sow.

The next session in this series will cover the farrowing sow and will be delivered by Max on 17th February. We also have several other training sessions running this month on lambing, calving, cattle foot trimming and infectious diseases affecting suckler cows, to name but a few.

If you have an interest in training or you need help in addressing the training needs on your farm, then you need look no further! Contact us at the practice to discuss your training needs and I am sure that we will be able to help.