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Beef Suckler

Here at Belmont, we strive to ensure that your needs as a beef producer are met. We work closely with our farmers to give a comprehensive yearly plan with appropriate testing and checks along the way. 


Suckler Cows

From a small pedigree herd to a large commercial suckler farm, we can offer comprehensive services throughout the farming year. 

The borders of Wales have a wealth of calf rearing and beef finishing farms.

We are active on farm doing:

  • Emergency and routine veterinary care
  • Health planning and disease monitoring
  • Pneumonia vaccination planning
  • Building design and assessment
  • Nutritional troubleshooting
We often hold farmer meetings focused upon pneumonia and housing, if this is something that interests you; watch this space
At Belmont, we offer a large variety of diagnostic testing from identifying individual problems to whole herd screens. We perform yearly screening tests for diseases such as BVD, Johnes, IBR, Neospora, and Leptospirosis in accordance with multiple Premium Cattle Health Schemes. Other diagnostic services include faecal egg counts, respiratory investigations, post mortems, and serology.
At Belmont, we offer in depth blood analysis specifically looking at dietary issues in the lead up to calving. Blood sampling 10 cows in the month prior to calving will indicate trace element problems (selenium, copper), macro minerals (calcium, magnesium, etc) protein and energy levels. This will help us tailor a diet to optimize your calving and reduce the risk of problems.
At Belmont, we offer pre-breeding checks where cows are scanned with an ultrasound to check for cystic, dirty, or non-cyclic. With a tight calving pattern of 9 weeks recommended, having all your cows cycling properly if essential of optimize you calving percentage.
Pelvic scoring is done on heifers prior to being put to the bull. It can be done from 9 months of age. The pelvis is measured along the horizontal and vertical axis rectally and with identify heifers with small pelvises. These heifers will have a higher change of caesareans and are often recommended to be removed from the herd.
At Belmont, we have recently started to implant embryos. We have a storage tank at our Hereford branch and can tailor a synchronisation program for your recipients. Recipients are checked prior to synchronisation for suitability. Implantation will occur 7 days after oestrus of the recipients.
Synchronisation can be performed for different reasons. Many people synchronise for AI reasons but other times, ensuring that the cows are cycling, shortening the calving index, or serving a problematic cow, synchronisation can help. Each program can be tailored to your requirements. Usually, programs take 10-11 days therefore please call to start the synchronisation in advanced.
At Belmont we routinely PD cows using scanners to 30 days. With beef animals, we often recommend 35-40 days after the bull has been removed to ensure that the empty cows are empty. Good times to PD are at housing (to remove barren cows before feeding/bedding) and 2 months after the bull has been put to the cows. The reason for this is to ensure that the bull is working (would expect to get over 50% in calf at this point), give more accurate dates and ultimately identifying the early calving group.

BBSE are ideally performed prior to putting the bull in. The bull is 50% of the herd therefore a problematic bull can have severe repercussions. Usually, a bull is tested 1 month prior to work which gives time for a replacement to be found. The bull is given a general health check alongside a testicle and internal sexual organs examination.

The bull is then ejaculated using the EEJ (electro-ejaculator) to produce a semen sample. The sample is analysed on farm using a microscope to assess the motility of the sperm. A further morphological examination is required back as the surgery for the complete sperm evaluation. Libido and mating ability are not assessed.

Vasectomising bulls is performed to create an excellent heat detection system to aid in AI or embryo implantation. Bulls are knocked down and the operation takes 20-30 minutes. Semen can remain within the pipes for up to 8 weeks therefore it is important to get the vasectomies done in advance of use.

Yearly reviews are an important part of any business, farming included. It gives time to take stock, looking at positives and scrutinise the negatives. It shouldn’t be seen as a box ticking exercise and can aid in your farming goal. At health reviews, we start with a farm walk to assess your aims, needs, restrictions etc and get a general feel of the running of the farm. We then sit down to discuss the farm and look at different aspects of the farm in more depth, usually after discussions on the walk.

A written report is then produced with the positives and a maximum of 3 aspects to focus on. Reviews are relaxed and we are wanting to work alongside you, not criticize without practical solutions.

These are often run alongside yearly reviews as often corelate to disease problems. With the increased concern of antibiotic resistance and pressure on farmers to look at antibiotic usage, we aim to give helpful advice in reducing antibiotic usage. 2 main areas are looked at. 1 – Reduce the use in animals that don’t require antibiotics.

These include the prophylactic treatments of lambs at birth or cattle at purchase. 2 – Reduce the requirements for antibiotics. A sick animal requires treatment, however, by preventing the chance of the animal becoming sick (vaccination, ventilation, culling etc), less sick animals mean less antibiotics used.

Ventilation or the ‘movement of fresh air’ is critical in address shed design and pneumonia investigations. Assessments work better on still days with the animals in the shed. We use a bug fogger which provides copious amounts of smoke to indicate air movements and the assess how best to improve sheds. We understand that practical applications are very different to text -book recommendations therefore we tailor advise to suit your needs.
Vaccinations are an integral part of reducing disease, reducing antibiotic usage and improving efficiency and profitability. Alongside diagnostic testing, we tailor a vaccine plan for your farm indicating the best timing and application of the vaccine.
We offer routine castrations and dehorning/disbudding. Castrations and dehorning are best done at a young age where risks such as bleeding and time for the procedures are reduced. We always use anaesthetic and anti-inflammatories when performing the procedures.

If you have a keen interest and keeping a profitable, well managed herd, we will work alongside you to aim to get the best results. Many of our vets have a keen interest in beef work with some coming from beef farms themselves, therefore have a good understanding of the trials and tribulations that happen along the way. A ‘one fit all’ approach doesn’t work and needs to be tailored to your farm and needs. Please contact us to discuss any aspect of beef farming with our vets. 

  • Diagnostic testing for infectious disease
  • Metabolic profiling and nutritional advise
  • Trace element analysis
  • Fertility pre-breeding visits
  • Pelvic scoring
  • Embryo implantation
  • Synchronisation programming
  • Pregnancy diagnosis down to 35 days
  • Bull breeding soundness exams
  • Bull vasectomies
  • Yearly health reviews and costing analysis
  • Antibiotic audits
  • Building and ventilation assessment
  • Vaccination protocols
  • Castration and dehorning