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Herd Audits

Many milk buyers require a selection of the following, routine audits, which we can provide:

  • Body Condition Scoring

  • Mobility scoring (ROMS accredited)

  • Cleanliness scoring

  • Teat end scoring

 

Body condition scoring:

Dairy cows in early lactation are in negative energy balance until their ability to eat catches up with the calorific requirement for milk production. This period of negative energy balance lasts for approximately 8 weeks depending on the system. During this time cows will ‘milk off their back’ (use their own body’s resources to supply the nutrients required to maintain their level of milk output) and lose body condition. Cows are scored from 1-5 (1=very thin, 5=grossly fat) and those that lose most body condition score (BCS) in early lactation have poorer conception rates.

For every ½ of a condition score lost, conception rates fall by approximately 10% compared to the herd average. Cows in the UK tend to converge on a minimum BCS of 2 ¼ irrespective of their condition at calving. This means that cows which calve down in too high a BCS will have compromised fertility as they lose the most body condition in early lactation.

Cows calving in too low a BCS are also likely to suffer poor fertility. This is because it takes 2-3 months for eggs to develop and if cows are energy deficient at any stage during this period the viability of these eggs is compromised.

Therefore, managing BCS can be a valuable way of improving your fertility and making efficient use of your feed resources.

We can train you in how to score your own cows, and provide you with charts to record the data. Alternatively we are able to carry out scoring on your farm alongside other visits such as TB testing.

Mobility Scoring:

Whilst we can provide ROMS accredited scoring for compliance with your milk contract, we can also train you to do this on farm. Regular mobility scoring is a proven management tool in reducing the impact of lameness, both on cow welfare and on farm economics. Early detection and treatment reduces severity of lesions and improves chances of successful cure, with improved fertility and milk yield across the herd.

Cleanliness scoring:

Be it the great British weather, or a change in ration, sometimes the cow environment can be less than perfect. Getting a handle on this with objective scoring can help you to target your efforts in combatting associated problems such as mastitis. 

Teat end Scoring:

By assessing the level of keratinisation at the teat end after milking, we can help you establish if the milking machine set up is favourable to the cows, and if any parlour maintenance or adjustments have had a beneficial impact or not.

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