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Hazell's May Update

By Hazell Mullins | May 18th 2020

It’s hard to believe its mid-May but does anyone know what day of the week it is. Lockdown was a novelty for me at the beginning not having to be anywhere and finally taking some time for me, but the novelty has most definitely waned.

 It’s the lacking feeling of not having anything to look forward which is what makes the end of a busy spring seem worth it.  As a country we have done an amazing job at “flattening the curve” something that in Mid-March may of seemed an impossible task now we need to get our lives back but gradual steps are key.  I cannot wait to see my friends in one place even if it means were 2m apart at all times, air hugs are my new normal. Will we ever not have zoom in our lives? I have a feeling it’s a trend that won’t disappear overnight.


Hazell's Brown Angus Heiffer

In practice spring seems to have said its last goodbye but every now and then you get the May curve balls, the teenage pregnancy, the blood transfusion and of course tire wire disease or “mystery cow disease” as I call it. It’s a strange feeling to look back on the past few months and think wow, did I really pull that many calves, treat that many E coli mastitis cases and fix how many LDA’s? At the moment these cases are been shown to me whilst TB testing and scanning, “there is your cow Hazell”. Which is a relief to see them still in the herd and I am proud to say some have even been bred for next year. Of course, you have to go onto farms where things didn’t work out as planned also and have those awkward conversations.


I always find breeding season an exciting time, farming truly is a circle of life, one minute I am on the farm pulling the calf and the next I am scanning the same cow to start the cycle all over again. I am flat out pre-breeding scanning at the moment and with no physios open my shoulder pain let’s just say is interesting. But bar the aches and pains I do really enjoy the process, I always think it’s the nearest thing to being a detective in our field. Asking the hard questions, is she ovulating? When did she ovulate? Why isn’t she ovulating?  OK, maybe a detective is a little bit of a stretch but it’s a great problem-solving activity and once you get results it makes it all the sweeter.


At the moment there is so many webinars on focusing on the breeding season but lots of companies have really jumped on the band wagon with webinars covering all topics at the moment.


  • Elanco have a brilliant 4-part dairy series talking with experts from all over the world about fertility – you can find out  more here.
  • MSD have a great resource on their Digital Hub, a webinar by Doreen Corridan and Donal Lynch.
  • Vetoquinol did a brilliant Webinar with scanning guru Peter May from the UK focusing in on twins and fetal sexing.
  • Bohringer Academy – have great webinars on mastitis at the moment also, focusing on treatment protocols and also communication on farm.
  • Webinar Vet has a lots of webinars on all topics, check out this one on parasitology.


I have had a few weekends off in a row which was well needed, I was exhausted. I have started a certificate with the university of Edinburgh and I am really enjoying the new challenges it presents to me. I am not going to lie I still haven’t managed to slip back into study mood but it’s a work in progress (its been a while). I think it’s the right time in my life to head back to academia, the post-traumatic stress from vet school has finally waned. If anyone is contemplating going back to study just make sure it fits into your schedule and just go for it!


In a way I am a little sad to see the end of spring it’s an exciting time and only for the exhaustion I would do it forever but for now its back to the TB testing summer of dreams. Hope everyone stays safe and enjoys the little delights of phase 1, more posh coffee is on my agenda anyway.


Take care,







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