Following extensive research by Zinpro, a product to combat Digital Dermatitis (DD) in heifers has been introduced to the market and is now available from Thompsons as the Heifer DD Pack. The recent research has shown that when the Heifer DD Pack was supplemented in the diet, there was on average, a 64% decrease in the incidence of the disease. This research was carried out on almost 10,000 heifers across 22 farms, and the results are shown below.
Until now management tools such as foot-bathing, topical treatments and trace mineral supplementation have focused on the lactating portion of the herd. However, recent data indicates the following;
• 71% of heifers are affected with DD at some stage during the rearing period.
• Heifers that suffer from DD in the rearing period have a much greater likelihood of its recurrence during lactation.
• Enhanced DD control within a dairy herd can only be achieved if it is implemented through various age groups.
A survey of Northern Ireland dairy farms has shown that a majority of dairy farms have a DD issue in young heifers. The biggest issue tends to be within heifers which are 19-24 months of age, however the disease can be present within many age groups. The survey also indicated that routine treatment measures for dairy heifers are not always practical on farm, as the facilities to implement them are not available.
Thompsons’ Heifer DD Pack builds on the already available and proven DD Pack for milking cows, providing an integrated herd approach to DD management at farm level.
The Heifer DD Pack is now available in a range of heifer diets, contact your local sales representative or Thompsons on; 028 9035 1321
Thompsons’ technical and sales team were recently given the opportunity to have a masterclass on DD from the world expert Dr Arturo Gomez. Many producers will recognise Dr Gomez from the DD workshops held at Greenmount Campus earlier in the year. With the kind permission of the Hawthorne family, Dr Gomez provided an afternoon of practical demonstration at their farm in Armagh. Helped by Rodney, his father Isaac and son Alexander, Dr Gomez worked cows through the crush to demonstrate the identification, treatment and long term approach that should be employed to tackle DD. The presence of Zinpros’ Dr Gomez and Michael Bain gave the Thompsons’ sales team the opportunity to discuss the impact of the Heifer DD Pack on farm.
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