Comments / Case Studies
Oliver Watson of Riverford Organics, near Totnes, Devon had a substantial and costly problem with lameness in his 270 cow herd, despite being housed in a new building with automatic scrapers, open sides and modern cubicles with mats. So in early 2008 Oliver asked Kingshay specialist Rob Mintern to carry out a How’s
My Herd™ assessment.
In his independant report Rob recommended the use of a specialist foot-trimming contractor. With the benefit of six months experience Oliver now says "I don't know why anyone would trim the feet of their own cows".
Rob also advised Oliver to install a cheap but effective foot-bath, to give a copper suphate-based proprietary threatment twice a week. This together with eliminating stale pools of slurry in which the digital dermititis can breed, has all but eliminated the condition, allowing treatment to be reduced to once a week.
Other recommendations contained in the Kingshay report are now being implemented including raising the feed passage base. This will prevent over-grown and lame front feet caused by too much weight on the front legs when cows stretch forward to reach their feed.
Time will reveal the full financial benefits of the How’s My Herd™ assessment and recommendations but using Kingshay's cost of lameness benchmark of £274 a cow, the reduction in lameness achieved so far has already paid for the assessment many times over.
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