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It’s time to focus on animal welfare

Are you worried about sick cows that don't last long? Are they draining your profits? Breeding for healthy, robust and trouble-free cows will help transform your herd.

Why cow health matters?

Health problems not only cause pain and distress for you and your dairy cattle. They also have a huge impact on the economics of your dairy farm.

When talking about how much a certain disease costs, we tend to think mainly of veterinary and medicine costs. But we forget a crucial part – the indirect costs.

Some of the indirect costs that can be overlooked are:

  • Lost milk production
  • Fertility problems
  • Culling costs
  • Extra time and labour costs

Breed healthy, robust and fertile cows

Sustainable dairy farming is not possible without healthy, robust and fertile cows. Imagine if every cow in your herd simply performed at its best and did not require a lot of work from you and your employees. What would that be like?

High health and reproduction status in your herd helps reduce the use of antibiotics and hormones. It also lowers your cow mortality rate and improve your youngstock survival rate.

Breeding for trouble-free cows that support a high lifetime production is the cornerstone of your sustainable and profitable dairy business.

You can breed for improved health and reproduction and at the same time increase production level of milk and solids in your cows. With a balanced breeding approach these are realistic goals to achieve.

Take a look at the effects of improved health and youngstock survival on your bottom-line per year for a herd with 100 cows.

Click "+" to see the figures.

See the effect of focusing on improving health, calving and youngstock survival: your herd’s future performance (using a bull with EBV 110) and the impact on profitability for a herd with 100 cows.

 

Costs €*

Current level

Current costs €

Future level

Future costs €

Savings achieved €

Mastitis, cases

400

32

12,800

24

9,600

3,200

Sole ulcer, cases

1,310

6

7,860

3

4,244

3,616

Sole haemorrhage, cases 

120

24

2,880

21

2,534

346

Digital dermatitis, cases

200

25

5,000

22

4,350

650

Heel horn erosion, cases

200

11

2,200

9

1,760

440

White line separation, cases

60

13

780

11

655

125

Ketosis, cases

250

6

1,500

5

1,365

135

Stillbirths

400

5

2,160

4

1,512

648

Lost heifer calves, early rearing period

400

4

1,440

3

1,238

202

Lost heifer calves, late rearing period

1,500

3

4,500

3

3,870

630

Total savings

                                             9,991

 

*Costs are calculated under the Nordic conditions

Better sustainability long-term

When you have a clear vision of what traits to improve in your herd, you can rely on genomic testing and a mating programme to make more accurate breeding decisions. You avoid genetic defects and control inbreeding in your dairy herd.

With these herd improvement tools you can estimate your herd’s genetic level. You can accurately define the best heifers and cows to use as replacements.

The decision you make today to invest in genetics will have an impact on your bottom line in the years to come.

Focus on polled genetics

Can polled cows make a difference in your herd? Save money on dehorning and achieve better animal welfare routines by focusing on polled genetics.

Choose polled bulls with a high genetic level. Use them strategically to get the maximum amount of calves without horns — and don’t compromise on the genetic level.

Listen to the podcast on polled genetics

Success with organic production

Organic dairy farming is a growing trend around the world. If you've already joined the movement, you've experienced the potential of a more sustainable lifestyle and higher milk prices. If you want organic farming to be successful, it calls for a healthy and resilient herd.

Do your cows spend a lot of time grazing and exercising outdoors? Then hoof health, udder health and resilience become even more important. You want cows that live long and last long, making your business healthy, sustainable and profitable.

Explore the innovative breeding solutions available to you as an organic farmer.

Find out more - Organic farming
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It’s time to farm a new tomorrow

It's time to create an efficient herd with future-friendly farming Learn more