Healthy footing to build profitability
Many of my clients are looking at ways of changing the environment or herd management to improve fertility, the intention being to boost annual milk production, profit and margins.
As a result I’ve seen a lot move to block calving systems.
Every herd is different, however. There are key fundamentals within every block calving system that will provide the foundation to achieving a profitable and sustainable business. Of course it won’t come as any surprise to you when I say that one of those is foot trimming and mobility scoring.
Farmers with autumn block calving systems have their foot trimming booked in from the beginning of August and now that lameness is one of the most significant welfare and economic diseases affecting the UK dairy industry (FAWC 2009) and several milk buyers are including mobility scoring programmes within their purchase contracts, it’s an essential part of the herd management process.
For most dairy farmers, their contract to sell milk is the single most important piece of paper they have for the business and shapes the relationship with their milk buyer – therefore, when it comes to lameness, prevention is better than cure.
Nick Challenor is the owner of ND Challenor Professional Livestock Services.
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