Know How / Dairy / Health and welfare

Good health and welfare is an essential feature of dairy herd management. Read up-to-date information on major welfare issues and diseases affecting dairy animals including infectious disease such as bovine TB and BVD, respiratory disease, mastitis, lameness and keep up to date with the latest welfare requirements.

Case studies

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How a Welsh dairy has slashed its antibiotics use

A dairy farm has slashed its antimicrobial use by nearly 30% through a combination of selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) and improved herd management, putting it in the top 25%…

MEDICINES

4 ways US dairy has cut antibiotics in lactating cows

Adopting a series of protocols for housing, milking practices and genetic selection has removed the need to treat lactating cows with antibiotics in a high-yielding, housed dairy herd. Lloyd and…

SLURRY AND MANURE MANAGEMENT

How a slurry robot is helping reduce disease on dairy farm

Following the installation of four robot milkers 14 months ago, Devonshire farmer Steve Davey realised the need to find a solution to conventional slurry scraping in cubicle sheds. “After we…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

How dairy farm is controlling Johne's while buying-in cows

When Jonathan Lovegrove-Fielden decided to covert Longden Manor Farm back to an organic autumn-block and expand to 300 cows his farm manager, Colin Bowen, knew they would have to buy-in…

BOVINE TB

Video: Farmers living on the frontline of bovine TB

For farmers living in a high-risk area, bovine TB has a huge financial and emotional impact. We visit two farms in south-west Wales which have endured long-term breakdowns. Stephen and…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How dairy farmer has cut neospora infection by 25%

A Welsh dairy farm’s policy of not breeding heifer replacements from cows that test positive for neospora and being meticulous with biosecurity has helped to reduce herd infection from more…

Practical advice

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HEALTH AND WELFARE

How to diagnose and treat downer cows

Getting a down cow back up on her feet as soon as possible after she collapses is the surest way to put her on the road to recovery, which makes…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Strategies to prevent heat stress in cattle

Record high temperatures last summer caught out livestock farmers in both indoor and outdoor systems, with cattle succumbing to debilitating heat stress. Tell-tail signs of heat stress are lethargy and…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Fly control in cattle: the options compared

As many dairy and beef systems have intensified, so too has the need for effective fly control programmes that combine cleanliness with chemical, biological or physical controls – or all…

FOOT HEALTH

How to minimise claw horn lesions at calving time

Extra attention to cow comfort around the calving stage is vital to minimise sole ulcers and sole haemorrhage, according to a leading vet and clinical researcher. Dr Reuben Newsome of…

PARASITIC DISEASES

Do’s and don’ts of vaccinating cattle against lungworm

In the past two decades, lungworm cases have increased tenfold, according to a report published by researchers at the University of Liverpool. A change in climate allowing for extended grazing…

DAIRY

5 must-haves to manage the modern dairy farm

Professionalism and attention to detail across the entire business is vital to ensure good technical performance and profitability on a year-round calving dairy unit. This is according to Lloyd Holterman,…

Insights

BOVINE TB

Current UK TB rules - and what's coming next

Defra and its devolved counterparts announced a series of tougher bovine TB rules in the past months in a bid to control the disease, which continues to see tens of…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Why dairy farmers should tackle Johne's now

In less than two weeks (by 31 October) farmers supplying purchasing members of the National Johne’s Management Plan (NJMP) – which represents 82% of the UK supply – will need…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Blood test could predict if cattle will develop disease

Blood testing female dairy calves for molecules in the blood – called microRNAs – could help predict their likelihood of developing disease, scientists say. Scientists have found the blood levels…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Farm trial aims to solve risk of fluke-infected snails

A technique which identifies the presence of mud snails infected with fluke is being used to help Welsh farms determine fields posing the greatest risk to animals. The presence of…

BOVINE TB

What a new bovine TB test trial in Devon means for farmers

At an undisclosed farm location in Devon, leading vet Dick Sibley, director of West Ridge Veterinary Practice in Tiverton, is trialling a novel TB management package, including two new tests,…

LIVESTOCK

Why textbook heifer growth rates may not be good enough

Dairying experts at home and abroad are questioning whether units are achieving heifer growth targets of 0.7-0.8kg/day and if this gain is sufficient for the modern Holstein. Concerted efforts to…

LIVESTOCK

Antibiotics reports spark debate in farm industry

Campaigners pushing for a dramatic reduction in farm antibiotics use have set out a series of recommendations that they claim would reduce consumption in the dairy, pig and poultry sectors.…

Q&A: How EU drug rules could affect beef and dairy farmers

Draft EU legislation looks likely to make reporting of on-farm antibiotic use mandatory. What does this mean for cattle farmers and how would it work? Brian Lindsay from the Cattle…

LIVESTOCK

Exclusive survey results: Use of antibiotics on UK dairy farms

A survey of more than 200 UK dairy farmers by Farmers Weekly and animal health company Zoetis found only 68% of farmers have heard about selective dry cow therapy, with…

LIVESTOCK

Mobile hot tub successfully treats downer cows

There is a saying that a down cow is a dead cow, but their chances of making a recovery are higher if they quickly back on their feet, as it…

Bovine TB: How Ireland compares with the UK

Ireland is often held up as an example of a country that has shown that culling badgers is a vital element of any strategy to eradicate bovine TB. Ministers refer…

LIVESTOCK

Pneumonia in calves: Pin down the cause and prevent it

Bacteria that cause pneumonia are fairly widespread and can live in a calf’s respiratory tract without causing disease. In the final part of this series, Caroline Stocks looks at what…