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Events Round Up!

It has been a busy week of events for the St David’s Team. Layer Commercial Manager, Charles Macleod, and South West Lead Vet Ben Crisp attended the South West Chicken Association Conference this week, of which St David’s are proudly a key sponsor. Packed programme of speakers and great to see so many people there.

Meanwhile, our Clinical Director Richard Jackson, headed over to Co Cavan, Ireland to join our Irish Vet team at a new conference, organised in conjunction with Teagasc and the IFA, for pullet and layer farmers.

Speaking ahead of the event, St David’s Ireland Director Liam Walsh said

We’re delighted to be supporting this event, that will bring together many of the industry’s producers and other key stakeholders. It will be an opportunity to explore and discuss topics that are not only important now but are relevant as we continue to strive for improvements in flock health, welfare and performance, long term. As a poultry practice, we see first-hand the benefits of working in partnership with producers, and others from across the industry to evolve flock management and develop proactive veterinary health plans. We’re looking forward to getting so many from the industry together in what we hope will be a more regular opportunity to share knowledge, experience and discuss the future direction of layer production.

As well as presentations from a number of organisations, there were a variety of organisations in the exhibition area, and plenty of time during the day to meet attendees. As we move towards the summer months, Dana Simpson presented on heat stress management in layers – including the important role humidity plays in determining the likelihood that birds will be impacted. She explained the measures that can be put in place to reduce the risk, behavioural changes to look out for and what to do if heat stress occurs. With temperatures rising, Dana also covered fly control on the layer site.

As BVPA President, Richard Jackson has been working closely with the UK government regarding the AI outbreak. He shared his experience on the UK’s approach over the last eighteen months and what lessons have been learnt, that has influenced how best to manage this and any future outbreaks, going forwards. Lead Vet for Ireland, Aonghus Lane, addressed some of the key priorities for the industry, now and over the next decade. We look forward to the next conference!

Back in the UK, St David’s Vets Helen Errington and Charlotte Cole from our Northern Team, alongside Charles Macleod hosted a layer farmer meeting in Yorkshire on Extending the Life of the Layer and the approaches to improve welfare and productivity, with some useful insights into return on investment. The audience heard about the factors that need to be considered in this approach, covering areas such as vaccine programmes, parasite control, microbiome management, water hygiene, biosecurity and flock planning. They welcomed clients to share their experiences, with special thanks to Michelle Harrison from Harrison’s Farms for presenting on the work they have done. To hear more about this, speak to your local St David’s vet or Charles Macleod on 01392 872932.

For a very different type of event, Northern Ireland Director Margaret Hardy, Cotswold Vet Nathan Hiom and Charlotte Cole, spent Wednesday evening being interviewed by Vets Stay Go Diversify, where they were given the opportunity to share what life is like as a poultry vet and what St David’s as an employer to vets who are maybe considering a career in poultry. If you’re a vet and interested in findings out more, or you missed this interview, contact to check it out!

Coming up in the May and early June, we start our Heat Stress Roadshows, where some of our vet team members will share their experiences in managing birds in high temperatures in places such as South Africa and Saudi Arabia. If you want to keep up to date with upcoming St David’s events– subscribe to our newsletter.

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