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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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…


US dairyman reveals calving protocols at his 2,800-cow dairy

Implementing strict calving protocols has helped US dairy farmer Don Niles reduce stillbirths from 24% to less than 2% on his 2,800-cow dairy. The vet, who is now co-owner and…


Using a transition index helps cut days open on dairy unit

Two years of selecting genomic bulls on a five-star transition index has shown each star rating on the Genus ABS Transition Right index is saving 4.8 days open for a…


Rethinking cattle performance: Improving dairy beef management

Farmers heard how important milk management, health and housing strategies are to maximising calf performance at Farmers Weekly’s first Rethinking Cattle Performance workshop. The first Rethinking Cattle Performance workshops, in…

Practical advice

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Outsourcing heifer rearing: What you need to consider

Heifer rearing is one of the most important jobs on the farm because they are the future of your herd. However, if you haven’t got the time, resource or facilities,…


How to tackle chronic dairy cow lameness and mobility

Lame cows have lower milk production, reduced feed intake, and are less likely to display estrus, all of which increase the risk of culling. Therefore, it's no wonder lameness is…


7 tips to help improve mastitis treatment

Dairy farmers should review and tighten mastitis treatment programmes, as figures show poor cure rates on UK farms, according to vet Kath Aplin. Speaking at a webinar on mastitis, Ms…


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…


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…


Pros and cons of 5 close-up dry cow feeding options

The close-up dry period is a critical period in the last three weeks before calving. It is essential to the success of the next lactation and rations should change to…



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…