With up to 25 per cent of his calves developing a potentially fatal lung infection, Tooma dairy farmer Keith Baker knew he had to make some big changes. The problem had been worsening over more than a decade, but about three years ago it came to a head.
“We had a few with lung infections and it slowly got worse and worse,” Keith said. “It started about 15 years ago and took about 10 years to go from a few to 10 per cent, then it took only a couple of years to go from 10 per cent to 25 per cent. It just blew out and we had to do something about it.”
The solution came when Keith introduced VikingGenetics’ VikingJersey as an outcross. Within three years, Keith has seen an incredible change. The infection rate has dropped from 25 to about 2 per cent – with none of the VikingJersey outcrosses suffering the lung problem.
Out of necessity, Keith has found not only a solution to a problem but improved the health and profitability of the herd and revolutionised his calving system, leading to big time and money savings.