Providing Clean water for animals is a basic husbandry requirement. BUT, it is very difficult to achieve. Bacteria from faeces contaminate water systems and use carbohydrates and mineral in the water to make biofilm.(Slime). This builds in the troughs, bowls and nipple drinkers, buckets and within water pipes. This increases the risk of infection and the need for antibiotics.
Pruex use “Water Plus” to remove biofilm, reducing the risk of bacterial infections and limit the need for antibiotics.
Healthy animals from healthy water.
Shepherds have often wondered why typically only one lamb from twins gets watery mouth. Work done by Pruex has identified biofilm on the ewes face as being problematic for the first lamb born. E.Coli from the ewes face being transferred to the lambs mouth during the process of the ewe licking dry the lamb. The second lamb born typically doesn’t receive as much attention as the first as the ewe has to protect/care for the first born whilst it finds it’s feet. The first born will attempt to suck the ewes face as she licks it. The second lamb has less opportunity to infect its digestive system with E.Coli from the ewes face.
Pruex have devised a 5 point plan to help reduce the risk of lambs getting watery mouth. It’s featured in the video below.
The national mastitis plan concludes that clinical infections within the first 30 to 60 days of lactation can be contributed to infections originating from the dry period or calving pen.
Having an environment that is non infective during this crucial period is vital for cow recovery and calf health post calving. We all know the importance of colostrum management, but sometimes our focus on water quality for cows, and dry bedding can slip often due to sheer stock pressure.
Many spring block calving herds in the British and Irish Isles are dry in December and January. This is however a vital time to ensure cow and calf health come calving time.
In this video, Cornishman Andrew Brewer, who milks around 700 cows on a low cost, once a day system discusses how he has worked with Pruex to help solve some of the issues he was facing that were a drain on financial resources and increased his costs significantly. By concentrating on improving the environment his cows are housed in during the winter, he has seen bedding and animal health costs reduce. He has achieved in excess of a 70% reduction in antibiotic use for mastitis since focusing on his animals' environment. Fantastic Andrew. Well done the team at Ennis Barton Farm.
Keeping animals healthy by ensuring clean water. Nigel Dinsdale discusses the importance of healthy water for healthy cows.
Finding a cause of watery mouth – an observation with big consequences for antibiotic use in the sheep sector.
Overbury Enterprises in Gloucestershire is in the middle of their laming season this year. In previous years, watery mouth in lambs, a disease caused by the poisonous toxins generated as E.Coli bacteria replicate within newborn lambs, has required the use of antibiotics at birth. The team were already trying to reduce reliance of anitibiotic use. Jake freestone, the Farm Manager states that "Previously we held off oral antibiotic use at the start of lambing and started using it when we got the first few cases of watery mouth".This year, Jake, along with the estate shepherd, Rheinallt Arch and his team have worked with Pruex to try to limit the potential risk of E.Coli infections in newborn lambs. As a result, an observation made could have benefits for all sheep producers.
Bacterial swabs taken ahead of sheep housing highlighted potentially harmful colonies of bacteria, including E.Coli within biofilms in the water system, and the surfaces of the sheep sheds. As a result, Pruex recommended a probiotic cleaning process to limit the risk of infection from these antagonists.
The water system is supplemented with “Water Plus”, a probiotic, which cleans out the biofilm layers within the water pipes and troughs. Sheep bedding is kept dry by applying a fine mist of “AHS”, a probiotic at least twice a week, or daily if conditions are wet.
Video showing clean water and clean water trough
Swabs taken at regular intervals throughout the sheep housing period have demonstrated the dominance of the probiotic bacteria applied. The latest tests, taken half way through the lambing season found no E.Coli colonies in bedding where lambs are born, nor water samples.
However, watery mouth has been witnessed again this year, which could typically only happen if E.coli bacteria are present and infect newborn lambs. What is strange is that it would affect one lamb from a pair of twins. Colostrum management at the farm is well managed, the ewes condition is modulated by management of variables such as feed and stocking rate.
Aled Davies of Pruex was determined to find the source of E.Coli infections, because the usual suspects of water and bedding were obviously not the source of infection. He observed that all free access mineral buckets within the sheep pens were contaminated by sheep droppings. E.Coli bacteria from the droppings, sugar from the molasses in the mineral product, moisture and a far warmer shed temperature would make a fantastic breeding ground for the E.Coli to multiply. Once the buckets were removed from the sheep pens, the watery mouth stopped within two days.
So, how does sheep droppings in a molasses based mineral bucket result in watery mouth in one twin lamb and not the other? Aled Davies has a theory, which, if proved, could have great implications for the sheep industry, reducing use of antibiotics, stress on animals and shepherds, and slowing down the rate of antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics. Aled thinks that the ewe, whilst eating the mineral, gets a mixture of sugar and E.Coli on its mouth. A nice warm environment, the bacteria would have heat, a source of mineral, energy in the form of carbohydrate and moisture from the ewe drinking water. These elements are all that is needed for a nasty biofilm to develop on the ewes face. Once the first lamb is born, the ewe licks the lamb, and will often lick the lambs' mouth. The E.Coli bacteria on its face being transferred into the newborn lambs’ digestive system. The dilution affect of licking the first lamb could remove or dilute the E.Coli on the ewe’s face so that the second lamb doesn’t get the infection via its mouth. Also, the second lamb tends to get less maternal licking as the ewe has to attend to the first born lamb as well. Lambing outside, the ewes’ face would be covered in soil bacteria, non infective, and not dominant in fecal bugs such as E.Coli.
Calling all shepherds. Do you agree with this theory? Aled Davies would like to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org
Calling all research institutes. Would you like to research this further and prove or disprove the theory? The whole industry would benefit if you did.
Calling all levy boards. Can you get involved in researching this theory?
This video was posted on Facebook. It shows a thoroughly licked first born lamb, and a second lamb still covered in birth fluid. The mouth of the first lamb born has obviously been licked by the ewe.
Doctors are often criticised for over prescribing antibiotics, with the general public often blamed for insisting on receiving antibiotics without knowing if their illness is the result of bacterial or viral infection.
Vets are also criticised for over prescribing and selling antibiotics to farmers and pet owners.
Be the criticism valid or not, we all have an obligation to use antibiotics prudently as opposed to excessively, #PruEx. For human, food prducing animals, sport animals and pets, we need to apply the same safeguards to help reduce the speed of Anti Microbial Resistance.
Attention to detail at a prominent Shropshire stable yard, with the aim of reducing the risk of infection of horses by the environment they are kept in, has paid dividends.
High walfare, hygiene and stockmanship standards are reducing the risk of infection.
The reduced use of antibiotics in agriculture has been focused on for some time now in the quest to limit Anti Microbial Resistance, (AMR). We all have a responsibility, consumers, pet owners and farmers, to use antibiotics prudently as opposed to excessively. #PruEx. The agricultural industry has indeed been successful in reducing antibiotic use by concentrating on prudent use and by ensuring proper both vaccination and good colostrum protocol for ruminant young stock. Further reductions will be harder to achieve without a strong focus on the environments we surround our animals. Preventing infections from the animals' environments by ensuring clean water, dry bedding or litter, and fresh air quality. When housing animals, these simple requirements can be hard to achieve. In this video, Vet Rob Drysdale discusses how he and his team have benefited from a determined approach to reduce toxins in their animals' environments.
We know that we can safely clean out biofilm from pipes and water troughs. We know that milk constituents increase with milk yield. We don't know if the production increases are due to less toxins in the water or are due to more water intake by cows, or a combination of both.
Clean water for clean milk. Reduced need for antibiotics. Pruex.
Even on high welfare units, disease can be problematic. In this video, Stephen Conisbee discusses how he has further improved husbandry from an already elevated position to benefit from less disease.
Turkeys and buildings were contaminated with Campylobacter. Based on advice from vet Rob Drysdale, the farmer contacted Pruex looking for an alternative to antibiotic treatment. Having improved hygiene by using AHS as a fog on litter, and Water Plus to treat water lines, within two weeks, no campylobacter was found within the buildings, the processing plant nor bird carcasses.
Three month old purchased calves would typically be given an antibiotic due to pneumonia issues. By using Pruex on bedding and water, there has been a significant reduction in pneumonia cases and increased production as a consequence. Pruex has helped ensure prudent as opposed to excessive antibiotic use, and would like to thank Rob Drysdale for inspiring positive change in agriculture.