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Rangiora dairy farmer Alastair Robinson loves his cows. He is passionate about breeding and managing cows to their potential. He is a hands-on farmer with a good team and performance, so perhaps not an obvious example of a farm that might be considered in need of technology to help manage cow health and fertility. Experience […]

The digestive tract of the neonatal calf is dramatically different to that of the adult ruminant. When a calf is first born they have a very small rumen, only a fraction of the size it will eventually need to be when the animal is older and consuming a much higher fibre diet. A key focus […]

Investment in good housing for baby calves and field shelters for older calves can make a significant difference to the start of life for what are often the highest genetic merit stock on a property. Whether you are looking at new shedding or improving your existing calf housing and its management, a little time and […]

As animal feeds go, Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE) stimulates stronger opinions both for and against than most. PKE has grown to be a major forage replacer and filled a huge nutritional hole in the national dairy herd, ensuring a great many cows have been more fully fed over the last decade or so. Its low […]

Health and Safety on farms can extend to what is fed to animals to keep them as healthy and safe as possible. Some animal feeds are surprisingly dangerous to some classes of stock, so it pays to read and understand the label when feed arrives. There are a few things to be aware of when […]

My experience developing dairy farms and working as a young-stock manager has convinced me that we invest in our future by taking our young-stock through the weaning process well. Replacement heifers and bull producers that are about to wean off milk need to have these calves healthy and growing well before the decision to wean […]

With summer not too far away, facial eczema prevention is once again front of mind for many livestock producers. While facial eczema has traditionally been considered a North Island issue with only small areas of the South Island affected, elevated temperatures across the country have led to a wider distribution of facial eczema cases. New […]

Once the threat of metabolic issues around calving has passed, it can be easy to overlook the need for supplementing major mineral levels in the milking cow’s diet. Not balancing the mineral content of diets can be a false economy, which jeopardises both the health and productivity of stock. The use of straights (commodity purchased […]

The banning of inductions has focused attention on a shortened mating period to prevent a prolonged calving season. A reduced mating period has inevitably increased empty rates – mating cows with a 53 percent conception rate for only 10 weeks as opposed to 13 weeks will tend to double empty rates with all things being […]

Fonterra suppliers will be examining tanker dockets more closely this spring as the proposed demerit system, to be introduced in September based on the Fat Evaluation Index (FEI), looms ever closer. Whilst there is still some uncertainty about what affects the FEI – including breed, stage of lactation and other feeds – some farmers may […]