19 September 1997

WISER USE OF HERD RECORDS CAN SAVE ££S

BETTER use of cow health and fertility records could save you thousands of £ you never knew youd missed.

West Sussex producers Shirley and Richard Westron are well aware that optimum herd health could have saved them £19,000 last year.

That is despite an excellent conception rate, a tight calving interval and a very low incidence of mastitis and lameness for their 125-cow herd at North Choller Farm, Walberton.

According to the Westrons vet Roger Scott of Animed, Wickham, Hants, herds such as theirs, which are using his practices DAISY recording service, could make typical savings of £150 a cow through more effective use of records. DAISY shows losses incurred through poor health and fertility in £s, comparing each herds performance in these areas with optimum figures.

The Westrons biggest financial losses last year were due to a high culling rate, cows not seen bulling and milk fever. The high culling rate was partly attributed to reducing herd size by about 15 cows and culling high cell count animals because plenty of replacements were available.

Culling for fertility reasons at 15%, cost an extra £53 a cow compared with the DAISY target of 8%, and culling for reasons other than fertility at 22%, cost £101 above the DAISY target of 8.9%.

Having identified the high cost of excessive culling, the number of replacements has been reduced, and fewer cows will be served with dairy sires.

Vet Roger Scott… savings of £150 a cow through better use of records.