Posted By: Paddy

Enhancing Youngstock Management: Key Takeaways from the National Youngstock Conference

Last month, Shepton Vets attended the National Youngstock Conference alongside two farm clients, embarking on an enriching day of learning and discovery. This conference provided valuable insights into the challenges and innovations surrounding youngstock, particularly calves. Paddy Gordon, our director and veterinarian at Shepton Vets, had the opportunity to share our experiences in trace mineral deficiencies and treatment strategies. The event was made possible through the generous support of Virbac, who produce Multimin, a broad-spectrum trace mineral treatment, sparking enthusiasm and ideas for optimizing youngstock management.

Exploring Exciting Developments:

One of the most intriguing topics discussed during the conference was the availability of sexed male beef semen, which holds immense potential for early lactation use. This innovation can significantly increase calf value by £50 per head, offering dairy farmers an exciting prospect to improve profitability.

Another important aspect that emerged during the conference was the emergence of bovine-specific coronavirus in calves. As Covid-19 is familiar to us all, this specific coronavirus is also evolving, transforming from a cause of scour to becoming a leading cause of pneumonia in young calves. Understanding and addressing this evolving challenge are essential to safeguard youngstock health and welfare.

At the conference, Paddy had the privilege of sharing our practice's experiences with trace mineral deficiencies and how to effectively assess and treat them. Trace minerals are vital for optimal calf growth and development, and their deficiencies can lead to various health issues. Our partnership with Virbac and their Multimin product has been invaluable in addressing these deficiencies, ensuring healthier and thriving youngstock.

Applying Knowledge to the Field:

The insights gained at the National Youngstock Conference have already been put to beneficial use in our "Intro to Calf Rearing" course, spearheaded by Emily. This well-attended course delved into the essentials of calf rearing, equipping participants with practical knowledge and skills to enhance youngstock management on their farms.

Upcoming Courses and Opportunities:

As we continue to prioritize youngstock health and welfare, we are excited to announce our plans for future courses. If you have staff members interested in improving their knowledge and skills in youngstock management, please reach out to our office to reserve a spot for our next course.


The National Youngstock Conference provided us with valuable insights and innovative solutions to bolster youngstock management on farms. From exploring advancements like sexed male beef semen to addressing emerging challenges like bovine-specific coronavirus, we are committed to staying at the forefront of youngstock care. The continued support of companies like Virbac and the enthusiasm of our clients motivate us to strive for excellence in all aspects of youngstock health and welfare. Together, let's pave the way for healthier, thriving, and prosperous youngstock in the UK.


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