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

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

How a bespoke calf barn cut antibiotic use and mortality

Switching from calf hutches to a bespoke calf rearing unit has slashed antibiotic use and is seeing zero mortality on a Canadian family farm. The Anderson family built the calf-specific…

MEDICINES

How on-farm test is helping reduce dairy antibiotics use

In a bid to reduce antibiotics use, a farm research project is trialling on-farm mastitis tests to identify cows that need treatment and those likely to self-cure. Mastitis is one…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How mastitis detection tech helped reduce antibiotics use

Wrexham dairy farmer Stephen Massey says using technology to sample individual quarters for cell counts has given him the confidence to start using teat sealant alone on some of his…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

How calf rearers have drastically reduced pneumonia cases

Thomas Williams has drastically reduced calf pneumonia by 36% since erecting a purpose-built calf unit.  Mr Williams, who farms with his parents Robert and Angela and wife Michelle in Ellesmere,…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Dairy farm's 8 changes that halved antibiotics use

Since 2016 the team at Stowell Farms in Wiltshire has adopted a multi-pronged approach to improving herd health. The strategy has ultimately led to better performance, less disease and reduced…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How on-farm mastitis test helped farmer cut antibiotics use

Rather than reaching for antibiotics at the first sign of mastitis, the team at Camerton Farm, Radstock, now do a milk bacteriology test  for every case on farm and then…

Practical advice

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HEALTH AND WELFARE

Coronavirus: Advice for vets and farmers

Vets and farmers have been included on the list of key workers, published by the government amid the coronavirus pandemic. This means farm animals are still able to receive care…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How to recognise and manage ringwomb in livestock in labour

Ringwomb is also known as incomplete dilation of the cervix more than six hours after foetal membranes appear at the vulva. If the onset of first-stage labour was missed (in…

DAIRY

6 fresh cow checks to prevent problems after calving

Pinpointing health issues early on in fresh cows, gives farmers a better chance of treating them successfully. Scott Abbott from Dairy Vet Management, says: “The earlier you intervene, the more…

DAIRY

How to dry off cows to treat mastitis successfully

Mastitis is the inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue, and is a major endemic disease of dairy cattle. It usually occurs as an immune response to bacterial invasion…

FEED AND NUTRITION

6 tips to avoid mycotoxins in silage ahead of harvest

The presence of mycotoxins in silage can cause huge repercussions for livestock producers, with issues ranging from reduced feed intake to abortion often a result of a mycotoxicosis infection. However,…

HUSBANDRY

What is the value of weighing dairy cows?

Automatically weighing cows when they enter the milking robot could provide a useful gauge of feed and dry cow management success, and also enable accurate dosing of medicines. Weigh platforms…

Insights

FEED AND NUTRITION

Study shows how calcium can affect dry cow fertility

Increasing calcium in pre-calving diets can improve postpartum uterine health and fertility, a recent study has revealed. The study, which took place at the University of Illinois, examined feeding dry…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

6 things I learned from visiting US 'mega-dairies'

Dairy farming in the US has become synonymous with the words “mega-dairy”. While the scale of US dairy farms bears little resemblance to UK operations, there are some striking similarities…

MEDICINES

Tackling IBR - non-marker versus marker vaccines

Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) is a highly contagious, respiratory disease that can affect cattle of all ages. It is possible to protect herds using either a non-marker or marker vaccine.…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

7 risk factors of pneumonia in calves and how to avoid them

Buying calves from multiple sources and feeding calves only once a day could be putting animals at risk of getting pneumonia, a study has found. AHDB assessed data from eight…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How to profit from forage-based dairy-beef system

Forage-based dairy-beef systems are profitable even in extreme weather conditions, a two-year study at Harper Adams University has concluded. The project investigated whether it was feasible to finish dairy-bred beef…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Benefits of cross-breeding dairy and is it right for you?

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have been comparing the performance of three-way-cross cows (made up of Viking Red, Montbeliarde and Holstein) to Holsteins. It differs from a similar study…

MEDICINES

How a farmer-led project helps dairies reduce antibiotics use

Antibiotics are a hot topic on dairy farms across the UK, with many producers working to cut their use to meet government or milk contract targets. While many of these…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Research shows benefits of pair housing calves pre-weaning

Pair housing calves before weaning can help them adapt better to different situations as they mature, leading to improved concentrate intakes and higher growth compared with those housed alone. Professor…

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…