Provita hosted a series of on farm demos throughout Northern Ireland last week outlining the benefits of making better silage and improving footbathing practices. Andrew Dale in Limavady, Dean Wright in Portadown and Declan Rafferty in Pomeroy were host farms. Read more
The demonstration hosted by Pat Lenehan and his nephew Pete was well attended by farmers with lameness problems on their farm. Not all of them footbath regularly or have a system set up to allow regular footbathing. Pat and Pete milk 70 cows in Crossmaglen. When they were installing a new parlour, they contacted Provita rep Kieran Donnelly to arrange a no obligation visit to action Provita’s Hoofsure Endurance Lameness Programme HELP to advise them on their footbathing set-up. They wanted a system that would minimise disruption to milking and allow good cow flow. Following consultation with Kieran, the pre-cast concrete footbath set-up allowed a full side of cows to exit the parlour before they reached the footbath which allows more dominant cows to walk through more rapidly and the more hesitant cows to have space and go through at their own pace. Cows are footbathed at every evening milking. When Kieran scored the herd for digital dermatitis (DD) as part of the HELP service, the vast majority had DD. A protocol with high concentration of Hoofsure Endurance footbath solution was put in place for 2 months with positive results visible within 2 weeks into the programme – active DD reduced from 85% to 20%%. Once DD levels were low with infection pressure down, the concentration of Hoofsure Endurance used each evening has reduced. Read more
Pat Mc Guire runs an autumn calving grazing herd in Rock near Dungannon, Co Tyrone. He is focused on efficiency and managing his cows to target 7000 litres on 1.5 t of meal. When reviewing the herd health plan with his veterinary practice Parklands Veterinary Group an easy to use footbathing system was identified as being needed on the farm. When Digital Dermatitis (DD) first took hold 3/4 of the cows had a problem.
Previously the farm had used a plastic bath with ridges, however cows were reluctant to go through it no matter how many times it was used. Various products including antibiotic footbaths were used but they didn’t work.
Members of the technical team at Provita are fully aware of the fact that footbathing can often be a tedious job. In addition, it is very difficult to ensure that the dilution rate is correct in every footbath. Studies have shown that 93% of footbaths are used incorrectly. Also the handling of chemicals can be dangerous.
Provita are currently offering a bespoke semi-automated system which can help solve the problems which come with footbathing. The system can be tailored to the farm’s specific requirements and each of the elements below can be customised to suit your farm. Read more
Provita continues to provide its Digital Dermatitis advisory service with great effect, to dairy farmers throughout Northern Ireland. A case in point is the relationship that has built up between the company and Broughshane milk producer Allister McCullough, who manages the 120-strong Rocavan Holstein herd with his father William John.
“The cows are currently averaging 10,500L with good butterfats and proteins,” said Allister.
“Our plan is to increase cow numbers up to 130 by bringing in additional home bred heifers. The herd is milked courtesy of two Lely robots. We also strive to get as much grazed grass into the cows’ diets. And to this end, we invested in a Lely Graze way system last year.”
Allister is quick to confirm that lameness-related problems, particularly those caused by digital dermatitis, are no longer an issue within the herd. Read more
William and Andrew McCollum, owners of the renowned Ballycairn Holstein herd, liken the challenge associated with the management of a high performance dairy herd to that of continually securing a number one grid position for a Grand Prix racing team.
“It’s all about attention to detail, irrespective of the milk price,” said Andrew. Read more
A commitment to building cow numbers from the current figure of 60 up to 90 plus is at the heart of the farm business plan recently put in place by Carrickmore dairy farmer Ryan McElduff. The 21-year old, who is working with his uncle Patrick, is also committed to a major investment programme on the farm. Read more
Footbathing can often be a tedious job, and can be neglected due to other farming commitments such as silage season or other field work. It can be very difficult to ensure that the dilution rate is correct in every footbath. Studies have shown that 93% of footbaths are used incorrectly. Also the handling of chemicals can be dangerous.
Provita are currently offering a bespoke semi-automated system which can help solve the problems which come with footbathing. Initially it is supplied at cost price, the cost can be recouped by extra Hoofsure Endurance supplied for free as part of a commitment to volume purchases over time.
The system can be tailored to the farm’s specific requirements and each of the elements below can be customised to suit. Read more
Hoofsure Endurance is a footbath solution, which can prove to be a better alternative to Copper Sulphate and Formaldehyde. Hoofsure Endurance is made of organic acids, tea tree oil and wetting agents. It is non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and biodegradable meaning it is safe for the environment and the farmer using it. It has been proven to be more effective than Copper Sulphate and Formaldehyde.
Provita has launched a new Digital Dermatitis (DD) app, which dairy farmers can download to their phone by simply filling out a form on the Provita website. The new app which is available for IOS and Android systems was launched at the recent UK Dairy Day, held in Telford, Shropshire.
“We got a tremendous response from farmers who attended the show,” confirmed Provita’s Tommy Armstrong.
“And we are expecting a strong demand for the app from dairy farmers in Northern Ireland over the coming months. Read more