Caring for the health of your business

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Herd Health

At FVS, we look after the health of cattle from a range of farming systems: from beef suckler herds to large high yielding dairy herds, to low output smaller grass-based dairy units.

Whatever the herd size or production level, we work with our clients to devise appropriate herd health plans. This involves assessing health and productivity, setting targets, and identifying any diseases that need to be controlled or eradicated.  Ongoing monitoring then follows to ensure production stays on track. A strategy of disease prevention rather than treatment is best for animal welfare, and because it cuts the medicine bill, then it’s also the best option financially.

As well as health planning, and routine fertility visits, we can also provide a number of other specific services. These include:  

  • Bull fertility testing: we are fully equipped to carry out Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluations. This involves: a physical assessment of eyes, feet, gait, teeth and scrotal circumference; an examination of reproductive organs and semen quality; a libido assessment.

Our bull fertility testing service is available to any farm, not just FVS clients.

  • Genomic testing: We can take DNA from young heifers and send it for genomic analysis. In this way the genetic potential of your heifers can be identified helping you make your breeding decisions based on an animal’s genes rather than its parentage.

Dairy herds

In dairy herds, we can work with you to instigate Selective Dry Cow Therapy, giving you protocols for selecting which cows only receive a teat sealant, and showing you the technique for drying these cows off.

We carry out an annual cost review for all our dairy clients: from experience, we expect the vet spend in a healthy well-managed dairy herd to be less than 0.8ppl. If our records show it’s more than this, then we work with you to find out why, and reduce it. This could mean making some management changes, or focusing on specific areas to improve udder health or fertility.

We also collaborate with the Nottingham Vet School at Sutton Bonington. This includes being part of a discussion group on dairy herd health, and keeping ourselves up-to-date with the latest research findings.