Andrew Dale milks 110 Fleckvieh and Fleckvieh-cross cows near Limavady in partnership within his parents. Rolling yields are around 6,300 litres. The farm is focused on maximising output from grass and zero grazing has been introduced in the past two years to help achieve this aim on this fragmented farm. Given the poor weather at various stages over the past couple of grazing seasons, it has been necessary to house the herd for periods over the summer, and with a greater amount of time being spent in the house, Andrew identified a build-up of digital dermatitis(DD) related lameness and levels were too high. In late spring 2017, he signed up to the complimentary Provita Hoofsure HELP service. After the cows were scored by Provita rep Kieran Donnelly it was confirmed that DD was indeed high with 70% of cows displaying various stages of DD. Initially the cows were spot sprayed with Hoofsure Endurance for 2 weeks followed by daily footbathing. “We could see rapid progress within a few weeks, initially the active stages dropped down to 35%, now we are down to 5% to 10%” confirmed Andrew. “My hoof-trimmer has noticed a big improvement, and we can now focus on more functional trimming”. “The cows locomotion is also much improved and they are much more settled in the parlour, and not fidgeting about as much” commented Andrew.
“We now footbath the cows every day and we do the dry cows and heifers once a week. It has become part of my and the cow’s daily routine and it is easily done with the footbath located at the exit of the parlour. At the start of the programme there was a fair investment made in the product but by sticking with the recommendations we have seen very good results. I find the regular visits by Provita rep Kieran beneficial as it is an extra incentive to make sure you stick to the plan so that you don’t allow the DD levels to start to increase again. Also a fresh set of eyes can see things that you miss whenever you are trying to juggle all the various jobs that need done on a daily basis around the farm. With the feet right, the cows are now better able to perform to their full potential. “I would never go back to not using Hoofsure Endurance daily.”
Working closely with Provita rep Kieran, Andrew has achieved rapid and sustained reduction of DD related lameness. Andrew will be hosting a Provita farm visit in early January so keep an eye on press for details. Fane Valley supply Andrew with Hoofsure Endurance. It is also available in over 200 outlets in Northern Ireland. FREEPHONE 0800 328 4982 for your nearest stockist.
Provita Hoofsure demos on Northern Ireland farms
Farmers are invited to see Provita Hoofsure HELP service in action with semi-automated footbathing systems across farms in Northern Ireland:
Tuesday 21st November at 1pm
Pat Lenehan, 34 Liscalgot Rd, Crossmaglen, BT35 9HX
Wednesday 22nd November at 12.45pm
James & Francis Kyle, 6 Cregagh Rd, Ballymoney, BT53 8JN
Visit www.provita.co.uk/news for more information or FREEPHONE 0800 328 4982 to register your interest in attending any of the Provita demos.