Know How / Dairy / Husbandry

Good animal husbandry is a crucial part of dairy herd management and profitability. In this section, you can find extensive guides and best practice advice on the care of animals when it comes to techniques such as dehorning calves, calving, drying off cows, foot-trimming and much more.

Case studies

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Collaborative calf-rearing venture brings multiple benefits

A joint calf-rearing enterprise between two neighbouring farms in the Midlands is bringing benefits to both parties. The new profit-sharing agreement has brought extra income to beef and sheep farming…


How one dairy farm installed robots to cut down milking time

Since robots were installed at Argoed Farm, average milk yield in the Holstein herd has increased by 2,000 litres a year, to 9,000 litres, an immediate payback from investing in…


Two autumn calvers compare calf housing options

Block-calving dairy farmers need sufficient accommodation to house large number of calves in a short number of weeks, with their options ranging from temporary structures such as polytunnels to purpose-built…


How a farmer is using minimal antibiotics in his dairy herd

Tim Downes has been farming with minimal antibiotics for the past six years at his two dairy farms in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Having been in organic production for 20 years, Mr…


Video: How a large dairy is keeping youngstock mortality low

A large US dairy is achieving exceptionally low mortality rates of 1% in its pre-weaned calves, and hitting daily growth rates of 800g up to weaning. About 1,800 calves will…


2019 Gold Cup dairy farmer finalists revealed

This year’s shortlist for the 2019 Gold Cup highlights the award’s remit in identifying the best across all sectors, with cross-bred herds, an organic system and top production units in…

Practical advice

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Advice on choosing the best milking liner for your herd

Milking liners are the only parts of the milking machine that directly interact with the cow. It is vital that this interface between cow and machine is optimised for each…


3 cattle handling kit options to stay safe at calving

Long hours, a lack of sleep, busy workloads and extra handling of livestock make calving a particularly risky time of year for farm staff. In addition, handling stock with protective…


4 ways to improve dairy milking routines

Good routines will set up milking for success in the key areas of hygiene, mastitis detection, herd throughput and, arguably the most important, milk flow rates. Together they will improve…


How spring-calvers can prepare for end of bull calf euthanasia

Producing a viable dairy bull calf is a challenge in a system that relies on an efficient cow of smaller stature to maximise milk production from grazed grass on the…


5 ways to build on improvements in udder health

Improved environmental management, protocols and breeding for udder health have combined to help lower mastitis rates and antibiotics use. However, farmers could make bigger strides with improved recording of mastitis…


5 calf deformities, causes and what to do

Calf deformities at birth are caused by a wide range of issues, including physical, nutritional, infectious, and genetic. Some remain a mystery. Alex Roberts, from Garston Veterinary Group in the…



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…


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…