Keeping farm cattle healthy is of utmost importance for dairy farmers. And one of the most important aspects of cattle farming is to ensure that the animals are living in a clean and healthy environment where they can feel relaxed. Taking this approach means that the herd are more likely to remain healthy and disease-free.

As dairy consultants, we have worked with a vast amount of dairy farmers across England, Wales and Scotland who have had difficult situations to overcome, and with our help and advice they have succeeded.

There are a number of ways to keep cows healthy and disease-free and the factors to consider will vary depending on the different circumstances. 

During breeding, cowsheds should have the right temperature as well as the right amount of lighting, both at night time and during the day, while external sounds can scare or unsettle them.

Wherever cattle are kept, they should be provided with enough space to roam and exercise, and they should be regularly provided with the right cattle feed to help support their health.

In our previous article, we talked about dairy cow welfare and various diseases that dairy farmers need to look out for.

Here are some further tips for dealing with some of the main illnesses that a dairy farmer will need to face. If you need further help with any of these illnesses then give us a call. We are experienced independent dairy consultants with the skills and knowledge to help. 

Causes and cures of lameness in cattle

Lameness can impact how well a cow is able to move around and exercise and, if not treated, it can lead to further health issues.

Lameness can cost hundreds of pounds for each case (including the cost of potential loss of milk production, fertility and culling) - and it should be treated quickly and properly to avoid any further costs or issues.

In 2015, the results from a four-year research trial* showed that the most effective way to treat lameness is by using a number of solutions including a non-steroidal anti-flammatory drug and trimming of the damaged or infected area. This combined approach led to the greatest number of cows being cured after a five-week period.

Causes and cures of mastitis in cattle

Mastitis can be fatal in cows. This common issue is caused by bacteria entering the teat canal and results in an inflammation of the cow’s mammary gland. Toxins caused by mastitis can damage the milk-secreting tissue, resulting in lower milk yields as well as lower quality milk.

An important part of curing mastitis is to identify its presence as soon as possible to avoid the disease from spreading. Once mastitis has been identified, it’s recommended to have a vet present and to quickly separate the infected cows from the herd to avoid the disease from spreading. The correct treatments can then be applied.

As part of our dairy farm consultancy services, at Douglas Green Consulting, we work with dairy farmers to identify issues early on and to help reduce the risk of mastitis. If would like to know more, get in touch.

What can go wrong during calving and how to prepare for it

There are many things that can go wrong during calving, and it would be wise to have an understanding of the different issues and solutions in case something goes wrong.

One of the most common problems is when a cow has trouble delivering her calf (known as dystocia) and there are various possible complications that can occur such as a prolapsed uterus or a twisted umbilical cord.

If there is an issue with the delivery of a calf then an emergency c-section may be needed to save the cow's life - and its calf's life as well.

Having a vet on standby as well as an understanding of how to identify and deal with different situations can help. Make sure to get support from your friendly dairy farm consultancy so that you are prepared, prior to the start of calving. If the delivery process is long, having surplus hay available can also help as food to help the cow.

Need further support?

In this article, we have talked about the main ways to keep cattle healthy, and there is always more that can be done.

By being aware of various ways that milk production and cattle health can be impacted, you can already make a difference.

If you would like to find out more about ways to improve cattle health, give us a call on 01666 817 278. We pride ourselves on being the first choice dairy farm consultancy for many dairy farmers looking for the best independent dairy consultants to help them.

To find out how we can help you manage the welfare of your dairy herds, call our independent dairy consultants, here at Douglas Green Consulting.