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

DAIRY

How finishing beef adds value to dairy business

The Mallett family decided to invest £100,000 in a shed to rear and finish beef bulls and heifers from their high-yielding dairy herd while they were locked up with TB.…

DAIRY

How a farmer uses antibiotics on just 10% of herd at dry-off

Exceptional mastitis controls and an overall infection rate of just 7.8 cases for every 100 cows is allowing one Pembrokeshire farm to use antibiotics on just 10% of the herd…

DAIRY

Dairy's chemical-free disinfectant delivers multiple benefits

A dairy farm in Norfolk has replaced chemical disinfectants with a system using only water and low-voltage electricity. This has helped reduce the farm’s carbon footprint, improved cow health, delivered…

LIVESTOCK

Flooring improvements help dairy unit cut lameness by 10%

New housing for 400 cows and improvements to older buildings at Grant Hartman’s dairy farm have done much to improve cow comfort and lameness. Cubicles have deep sand beds, suitable…

DAIRY

Are Arla producers ready for new rules on calves?

The “Every calf has a value” (ECHAV) scheme has been a beacon in the industry since it was announced in 2019, with other processors now looking at how they can…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

WIYLS visits the only off-grid milking robot in the UK

A Welsh farm is milking cows in a robot powered by a standalone renewable energy system after it was forced to relocate to a remote site when its rented dairy…

Practical advice

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FOOT HEALTH

Top tips to limit digital dermatitis in heifers

Many UK farms have worked hard to control digital dermatitis (DD) in their herds, but a range of steps could be used in heifer management to reduce rates further. This…

DAIRY

Advice for supplementary feeding dairy calves at grass

Supplementary feeding can be key to achieving efficient growth rates when grazing heifer calves. It can also provide protection against coccidiosis if decoquinate, prescribed by a vet, is added to…

DAIRY

4 tips to get staff to buy into farm biosecurity protocols

Only 31% of farmers follow biosecurity protocols, according to a survey of 100 UK dairy farmers by hygiene specialist Progiene. The biggest reason biosecurity protocols were broken was lack of…

DAIRY

4 tips to optimise dairy cow fertility

Poor fertility is a vicious cycle, with fertility problems in one lactation programming further issues in the next. This is according to Professor Jo Leroy of Antwerp University, who says…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Advice on tackling bloat in cattle

Bloat, also known as ruminal tympany, is a build-up of gas within the rumen and reticulum due to a failure to eructate (belch). Bloat may be considered primary or secondary.…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Advice on tackling scour during lambing and calving

Diarrhoea or scour is the most common disease in young animals and, as a result, is the greatest single cause of poor growth and mortality. The direct cost of treating…

Insights

FARM POLICY

Next phase in Defra bovine TB strategy explained

After months in the making, the government has launched its latest consultation (PDF) on the next stages of its strategy to eradicate bovine TB in England by 2038. The eight-week…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How genomic testing of heifers can improve profitability

Genomic testing replacement heifers has a cost benefit of £19.39 a heifer, according to a three-year study involving nine Welsh dairy farms. The project compared the difference between estimated breeding…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

CMT could cut dry-cow antibiotics use by half, study shows

Using the Californian Mastitis Test (CMT) at drying off could help cut antibiotics use by 50% without impacting clinical mastitis, a study has found. In the first large-scale investigation to…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Parasite project helps dairy farm to improve worm control

A Ceredigion dairy farm is revising worming protocols for its replacement heifers after a parasite control research project detected early stage resistance to clear wormers.   The Jenkins family, who milk…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

BVD vaccination can lift milk yields, trial shows

Vaccinating dairy cows against the bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) virus can lift milk yields by up to 1 litre/day, a recent global study has shown. A total of 1,463 cows…

BOVINE TB

UK bovine TB rules, penalties and incentives

Defra has introduced more rigorous, evidenced-based bovine TB testing regimes for cattle this autumn, backed by tougher penalties and incentives to encourage farmers to improve biosecurity. While the number of…

BOVINE TB

How successful has the Welsh Cymorth TB scheme been?

Five years ago, the Welsh government challenged farmers to take control of TB herd breakdowns by improving their on-farm biosecurity. To encourage the improvements, it set up a scheme that…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How scanning can detect early pneumonia in calves

Subclinical pneumonia, where there are no obvious signs of the disease, in young calves is going undetected on farms, a Scottish study has found. Calves are more likely to succumb…