It is common knowledge that hygienic measures are beneficial to the health and production of cows. But the fact that the longevity of cows is increased by 6 months after a year and a half of life in a barn according to the HyCare program, exceeds wildest expectations. Milk production, TB, PT and veterinary costs are also improved. The additional profits amount to several tens of thousands of euros.
A year and a half ago, the HyCare method was launched in the Jos Seuntiëns farm, farmer of 210 dairy cows in the Netherlands (4 milking robots). The protocol aimed to improve the level of hygiene and prevent infections. As a result, 5 fundamental axes have been reworked: the feeding table without roughness, cleaning and disinfection, clean drinking water free of bacteria, the fight against pests and finally, care via pedicure and accompaniment to calving.
Since then, the first concrete zootechnical results have come gradually. Wilco de Crom, head of the cattle department at MS Schippers in the Netherlands, is pleasantly surprised: “We knew it was going to work, not least because the HyCare program is working so well in pig farming. However, it far exceeds all of our expectations. ” On the other hand, it is not surprising that the results are good, “We know that 85 to 90% of cow problems can be related to infections. If you stop them, you will make great progress. ”
All this means that, for this farm, 245,000 kilos of additional milk could be delivered in the phosphorus quota (specific to the Netherlands). Each liter of extra milk generates an income of € 0.22 (price of milk deducted from food cost). For this farm, this represents an income of around € 54,000 over the year. In addition, veterinary costs are reduced.
Finally, an unquantifiable facet: work is easier and more pleasant because there are fewer health problems.
Wilco de Crom expects the protocol will be phased in over the next year at several other operations. Initially, it will mainly be on farms equipped with a milking robot for organizational reasons. In addition, these operations must have or set up a hygiene airlock in order to create a first barrier for visitors.
Wilco de Crom stresses that breeders can count on the full support of MS Schippers. “It starts with a full farm audit to analyze the current situation and target areas for improvement. Then, once everything is fully operational and the routine is established, by monitoring with a technical advisor every 6 weeks. We also involve other actors who can regularly visit the farm. ”
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