Cattle Tagging – Best Practice

Tagging of cattle is a mandatory exercise, and first tagging should be carried out within 36 hours for dairy cattle, and 20 days for beef. The British Cattle Movement Service offer advice on best practices for tagging your cattle. You should consider the following points when tagging your bovines.

  • The tag should be applied 1/3 from the head and 2/3 from the tip of the ear.
  • For cattle the tags should be inserted in the middle/lower ear.
  • Avoid piercing the ridges of cartilage in the ear, as this may deform the ear and may also result in infection.
  • Make sure that you or your operator is properly trained and competent in the application of ear tags. Read the Health and Safety Executive’s advice on the handling and housing of cattle (Agriculture Information Sheet 35). HERE
  • Make sure that you are using the correct applicator for the model of tag you are fitting. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Fit in cool weather (where possible) to minimise infections.
  • Secure the animal’s head to prevent jerking during tagging.
  • Apply tags under hygienic conditions. The operator’s hands, the ear, the tag and the applicator should be clean. Disinfect as necessary using an appropriate solution.
  • When fitting plastic tags make sure the tags line up correctly on the applicator and will lock together when correctly fitted.
  • In the case of plastic tags ensure that both parts of the tag have the same number.
  • In the case of plastic tags the female part of the tag should always be on the inside of the ear, this will reduce the chance of the tag snagging or catching on obstructions such as fences, gates and feeding troughs. The male part of the tag should always enter from the back of the ear.
  • Check the ear after about 10 days for signs of damage or infection. Consult your veterinary surgeon as necessary.
  • Store unused tags in a clean dry container.

Cattle tags are available to order from all of our Country Stores, and SAME DAY  REPLACEMENT TAGS are available from our Barnard Castle, Kendal and Stirling branches with their on-site laser facilities.

The Hustler machine is one of the best……..

“This Hustler machine is one of the best cattle feeding equipment that I’ve owned for a long time”

Callum Kettles is the Farm Manager for Hornby Hall Farms located near Penrith, England and he has owned a Hustler feedlot bale feeder for over a year. Check out what Callum has to say about it! Callum Kettles and his team farm 2,000 breading ewes at Hornby Hall. Callum was looking for a bale feeder able to feed out various types of hay and baleage to his ewes which are housed indoor. He talked to his local accredited Hustler dealer Rob Sunter at the Penrith depot, who organised a demo of the SL450X (LM105T) feed lot bale unroller on his farm

“This Hustler machine is one of the best cattle feeding equipment that I’ve owned for a long time”

From left: Heather (Hornby Hall farm operator), Rob (Carrs Billington dealership), Callum (Hornby Hall farm manager)


Callum is wrapped with his Hustler: it feeds out all his bales, it’s robust and it doesn’t require much maintenance.

The SL450X (LM105T) feedlot bale unroller is a self-loading 3-point-linkage mounted trough feeder suitable for feeding out into troughs, feed bunkers, over fences or onto feed pads a wide variety of mainly round bales and silage along with some square bales when using the optional sidebars. the SL450X (LM105T) comes with 6 major benefits:

  1. Maximum reach: with its large elevator, the SL450X (LM105T) feedlot bale unroller allows feeding out into hay baskets/cradles as well as troughs and feedpads
  2. Compact size: one the elevator is in up position, you’ll be able to go wherever your tractor goes, even in narrow barns.
  3. Easy to use: the SL450X (LM105T) feedlot bale unroller has single level feed control, making it very easy to use and ideal for share milkers or for indoor feeding.
  4. Toughest chain on the market: with its super strong roller chains (combined strength of 24,000lbs) and tough 40x40mm zinc-plated bars, the SL450X (LM105T) feedlot bale unroller won’t let you down
  5. Low maintenance: instead of bushes, the SL450X (LM105T) feedlot bale unroller is equipped with longer-lasting block bearings, mounted outboard to keep them clean and free of damage
  6. More safety: the high rear bar means the bale cannot screw off the back (optional side rails are available for maximum safety) which allows you or your staff to work with a safer piece of equipment.

For more information on the full range of Hustler Equipment, contact you local Carrs Billington Machinery depot.

Branches at:

Annan, Barnard Castle, Carlisle, Hexham, Morpeth and Penrith.

A Yamaha All Terrain Vehicle for whatever you do, wherever you go

Work, leisure, sport. And more.

More than any other manufacturer, Yamaha is committed to offering every customer the widest choice of quality ATVs that are designed to excel in every situation. From the rugged and hard-working Kodiak and Grizzly models through to the high performance YFZ Sport ATVs and the YFM youth model, Yamaha enables everyone to find the right vehicle to suit their lifestyle.

For 2020 the Yamaha Kodiak 450 utility models benefit from a number of significant upgrades that enhance their functionality, while a number of other utility, leisure and sport ATVs are offered in a range of new colours and graphics.

2020 Kodiak 450:Rugged, versatile and practical

Throughout the ATV world the Kodiak is recognized as the leading name in the utility class, and for 2020 the rugged, versatile and practical Kodiak 450 comes with a higher standard specification that makes it an even more effective workhorse.

With the ability to pull more than 1134kg / 2500 pounds, the new factory-fitted WARN VRx25 winch is 25% more powerful, enabling this popular utility ATV to take on the toughest jobs in any environment. This higher specification winch assembly also features a load-holding mechanical brake to give better control when dragging heavy loads – and with 15m of steel rope, the new winch is equipped to handle a range of duties in the forest, field or farm.

A key feature of the Kodiak 450 is its compact body design with a roomy riding space that ensures all day comfort, making this an ideal mid-sized ATV for work or leisure. Its high torque 421cc 4-stroke EFI engine drives through the Ultramatic automatic transmission for a smooth and effortless ride – and Yamaha’s industry-leading On Command drive system enables the user to switch seamlessly between 2WD and 4WD when required, with the push of a button.

With a 120kg rack carrying capacity and 600kg towing capacity – together with its increased winch capacity of over 1134kg – the Kodiak 450 is a true all-rounder that can tackle almost any job – and yet at the same time this tough and reliable ATV is the ideal fun and leisure vehicle when the work is done.

For 2020 the Kodiak 450 will be available in a new Olive Green finish that joins the existing Ridge Red, Yamaha Blue and Camo options.

Kodiak 450 Overview

  • Versatile and practical mid-sized utility ATV
  • New factory installed WARN VRx25 winch with over 1134kg capacity
  • New Olive Green colour option
  • All day comfort, added functionality, easy to use
  • Designed for work and leisure
  • Premium Yamaha quality with great value for money
  • High-torque 421cc 4-stroke engine
  • Economical and reliable Electronic Fuel Injection
  • Compact body design with roomy riding space
  • Long-travel suspension with gas shock absorbers
  • On Command push button 2WD / 4WD drive system
  • Ultramatic automatic CVT transmission
  • 120kg rack carrying capacity; 600kg towing capacity

Discover the full features at

Colours and availability

Kodiak 450 colours                             Olive Green (New for 2020)

Ridge Red

Yamaha Blue


Available from October 2019

Dog worming is as important as servicing your tractor

Autumn is looming over us, and some of your machinery will soon be cleaned up, serviced, and put away until next year. It is wise to look after important pieces of equipment that are vital to the running of your farm, but is it possible you have missed something, something that can affect the health of your stock, the efficiency of your farm and can even your own wellbeing.

Working dogs are as valuable as any piece of machinery, which is subject to servicing each year, so consider the reasons to apply the same ethos to sheep dogs. The impact of worms on livestock is well recognised, backed up by many trials over the years, and farmers undertake dosing a regime to combat this, but how many apply the same care and attention to their working dogs? It is vital to worm your dogs, and for the sake of the equivalent cost of a couple of cans of marker spray, your hard-working dog can benefit from improved energy and longevity, and it can also have impacts on your commercial stock.

Firstly, and most commonly, dogs along with humans, are the final host for tapeworm. Some species of tapeworm have the sheep as its intermediate host. Although tapeworm is harmless in dogs, it can cause cysts that are fatal to sheep. The worm is spread when dogs eat infected sheep carcass or their dung. Making it important to treat both dogs and sheep.

A healthy dog is an asset to your farm

Secondly, any burden of worms a dog may be harbouring is consuming away vital vitamins, minerals and water your dog needs. Taking away these precious resources reduces the efficiency of the dogs’ gut, reducing their energy levels and putting strain on their immune system. A large enough burden especially in puppies or weaker, older animals can be fatal.

Finally, a couple of other diseases found in livestock can be spread by dogs. These include Neosporosis and Sarcocytosis which are particularly nasty for livestock. Neosporosis can cause abortion in cattle and Sarcocystosis can cause abortion in sheep and sometimes death.

By worming your dogs efficiently at least every three months, you can reduce the risk to your dog and your livestock. It may be advisable to provide a flea and tick control at the same time.

At Carrs Billington we value the importance of animal health medicines and this applies to canines as much as ruminants. Our highly qualified SQP staff are in every branch and are qualified to advise on all aspects of parasite control including resistance levels. Chat to your local animal health specialist next time you are in branch.

Drying wood for the Winter

As the nights start to draw in we start to think about warming ourselves, and there is nothing more comforting than a log fire. Many people buy wood, dried, split, ready for burning, but if you are lucky enough to access to wood in the raw, here are some top tips for drying your wood:

  1. Split for speed: split wood has a greater surface area and doesn’t have the waterproof bark protecting it. Short-term, the drying process is much faster if the wood is split. Timber in-the-round will dry, just slower.
  2. Wind and sun are best: Wood exposed to wind and the sun dries fastest, so a south-facing stack in a windy position will dry in the summer quicker than a north facing sheltered spot.
  3. Give it time: Dense hardwoods generally take longer to season than softwoods, but wood with high resin levels such as pine benefit from up to two years drying time.
  4. Off the ground: Wood on the ground can get wet and rot. This rot can travel through your stack, and it is a shame to let your efforts go to waste. An old pallet underneath your stack is a cheap way of solving this issue.
  5. Rain is fine: It is more important to have your stack in a well-ventilated area, than having shelter from a bit of rain. Studies have shown that seasoned wood, once wet dries quickly it burns well. A stack in the open, but with just a roof works fine.
  6. Seasoning is king: It is crucial to season your wood fully. Wet wood can contain up to 60% moisture. When burned, much of the energy is used to evaporate this moisture. A wood with 20% less moisture will give 20% more energy. ‘Wet’ wood also releases climate-warming gases & particles, and these condense into smoke a deposit themselves onto flues and chimneys.


Stihl chainsaws have evolved into a range of specialist saws to meet every application. The chainsaw range includes petrol, cordless, arborist, electric, agriculture, and landscaping chainsaws.


Battery chainsaws are quiet and low on vibration

STIHL cordless chainsaws are lightweight, well-balanced and easy to use – just pop in the battery, which can be used in other STIHL cordless tools, and away you go. The machines are so quiet, you won’t even need to wear hearing protection! The cordless range is ideal for processing your own firewood.

Stihl chainsaws are available from the following branches:

Annan, Barnard Castle, Carlisle, Cockermouth, Hexham, Kendal J36, Morpeth and Spennymoor. Click HERE for our store locator