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 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…

LIVESTOCK

How Co-op’s scheme keeps calves in the supply chain

Food retailer the Co-operative Group is expanding a calf scheme that integrates its dairy and beef supply chains. The scheme provides an outlet for all dairy/beef calves, including dairy bulls…

LIVESTOCK

Welsh farmers respond positively to BVD eradication scheme

Farmers have responded positively to the new Welsh Gwaredu BVD eradication scheme, which launched in September 2017. Since then, according to the £9m scheme’s technical lead, vet Neil Paton, about…

DAIRY

Farmer speaks of his hell at losing herd to Mycoplasma bovis

The Mycoplasma bovis bacterium, found on dairy farms throughout the UK, is a major contributor to calf pneumonia. It is also associated with mastitis, arthritis, meningitis, eye and ear infections,…

MEDICINES

How a dairy farmer saved £60,000 in mastitis control

Implementation of the AHDB dairy mastitis control plan (DMCP) at one Shropshire farm has seen incidences of the condition halved in three years despite the milking herd increasing. In 2014…

LIVESTOCK

Meet the 2017 Gold Cup dairy farmer finalists

The shortlist has been announced for the new look National Milk Records/Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers Gold Cup, which has been opened up to a wider range of producers.…

Practical advice

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LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Winter housing: How to deal with lice in cattle

Lice in cattle cause intense irritation, causing animals to scratch and rub. Not only can this become a welfare issue, but it can have severe consequences on productivity through reduced…

PARASITIC DISEASES

Q&A: Advice on worming cattle at housing

Endoparasites pose a significant threat to cattle health and performance, with the presence of worms causing a reduction in appetite which leads to poor growth. Worms can be challenging on…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Q&A: How to tackle neospora in cattle

Neospora is a parasite that infects dairy and beef cattle, causing abortion and stillbirth. Evidence suggests its prevalence in the UK is growing. So what can farmers do to protect…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

A complete guide to leptospirosis in cattle

Leptospirosis is a serious, contagious, infectious disease found in cattle. Known as lepto, leptospirosis can affect other domestic animals, including dogs and sheep. Failure to control the disease can not…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

5 tests to assess your dairy herd’s welfare and comfort

Farmers and stock workers can trick themselves into thinking everything is satisfactory in the cow shed but cows don’t lie. Veterinarian and CowSignals instructor Owen Atkinson of Dairy Veterinary Consultancy explores five…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Vet Viewpoint: Advice on dairy heat stress and Johne's

Unsurprisingly, the heatwave has raised issues for vets across the UK. Rob Davies from Camarthenshire and David McCrea from Cumbria are both warning farmers to beware of heat stress and…

Insights

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…

LIVESTOCK

Pneumonia in calves: How farmers can cut the risk

The aim of Farmers Weekly’s new series is to help farmers reduce the costs of pneumonia
in calves. Caroline Stocks sets the scene with 
a look at the results of an…

Research highlights condition score importance when drying off c...

New research by Agrisearch underlines the importance of drying cows off at the right time. Jeremy Hunt takes a closer look. Trying to adjust the body condition of dairy cows…