Have your dairy grazers arrived in poor condition? Do you know what you’re in for?

Have your dairy grazers arrived in poor condition? Do you know what you’re in for?
By Ashley O’Driscoll, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets

If you graze yearling dairy heifers, by the time you read this article those heifers have probably already arrived on your farm. Take a good look at them; even better, weigh them. It is important that you know the quality of animal arriving on your farm, because it will have a huge impact on the quality of animal that will leave your farm in a year’s time.

It has been a very hard summer for the whole of the Waikato. It has been so hard, in fact, that some areas (Hauraki and the Coromandel) are still struggling. As vets, we are seeing poorly grown young stock this autumn. As graziers, this is a good year to have a close look at the quality of the heifers coming onto your farm.

If you aren’t happy with the weights or size of heifer coming onto your property, have a chat with the owner. If you are not comfortable having a chat with the owner, or you and the owner disagree, have a chat with your vet.

This is a good year to get into the habit of an arrival checklist. If the heifers are not in perfect condition, they will need some extra care. When were they drenched last and what with? Have they been vaccinated? Does the owner have a mineral plan (Selenium, Copper, etc)?
I highly recommend you access a checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything. These are supplied by both DairyNZ and your local vet. www.dairynz.co.nz/media/4112100/heifer-grazing-questionnaire-grazier.pdf

Remember that if you aren’t happy with how the heifers look coming onto your farm, now is the time to talk to the owner. And now is the time to talk to your local Anexa vet to make a plan.

Date Added: Friday, 5th June 2020


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