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Dairy: Herd Management

Find out about all aspects of herd management; breeding, milking performance, calf/youngstock management and infrastructure and technology

MMN March 2024 – How Long are your Heifers Lasting?

According to the recently published NMR 500 Herd KPI Report for 2023, the medium number of lactations per cow at exit was 3.6 and the culling rate was 28%, with…

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Select by an area of interest

Nutritional Guidance for the Milking Herd

Nutrition in dairy cattle is a complex area, and many farmers rely on their nutritionist to ensure that the ration for the milking herd is...

Read more >

MMN May 2024 – Slurry Storage: What are the Options?

Once considered a waste product that was scraped into a hole and forgotten about, slurry is now seen as a valuable resource, which if utilised...

Read more >

MMN May 2024 – Risk Factors for Twinning

As dairy cattle have been selected over the years for higher milk production, a higher rate of twinning has also been observed. In fact, the...

Read more >

MMN May 2024 – Colostrum Beyond Antibodies: What is New?

Project: Identifying critical control points for colostrum contamination and Mycoplasma bovis prevalence in first milking colostrum from Scottish dairy herds. When colostrum quality is discussed,...

Read more >

Providing a Comfortable Thermal Environment for Calves

Despite the various methods for housing calves (e.g. individual, paired, group, pens, hutches) the basic principles for housing should be the same. The environment should...

Read more >

MMN March 2024 – Dairy Cow Building Design

Building layout is important to ensure that dairy cows have good access to feed, water and space for lying to maximise cow comfort and productivity....

Read more >

MMN March 2024 – Are Robots for Me?

With the ongoing problem of finding good reliable labour, dairy farmers are increasingly asking themselves: Should I be looking at robots to milk my herd?...

Read more >

MMN March 2024 – How Long are your Heifers Lasting?

According to the recently published NMR 500 Herd KPI Report for 2023, the medium number of lactations per cow at exit was 3.6 and the...

Read more >

MMN January 2024 – Selecting Beef Bulls for Use on Dairy

Sales of sexed dairy semen are increasing year-on-year and have been reported by AHDB to have reached 76.5% out of all dairy semen sales in...

Read more >

MMN January 2024 – Spring Block Calving: How does your Herd Measure Up?

Measuring reproductive performance of the herd can allow comparison between years, areas for improvement can be identified and you can check the effectiveness of management...

Read more >

MMN January 2024 – Colostrum Quality from Heifers

It is often said that the quality of colostrum (in terms of immunoglobin content or IgG) from heifers is not as good as that from...

Read more >

The Benefits of Rumination Monitoring

Cows will typically ruminate for around 500 minutes a day (7-8 hours) and a reduction in rumination time can be a sign that something is...

Read more >

MMN November 2023 – The Power of Benchmarking

The importance of understanding the financial data within your business was one of the sessions at a recent dairy conference “Challenging the Norm: Future Dairy...

Read more >

MMN November 2023 – Investigating the Causes of Poor Milk Production

It can often be the case that cows are not milking according to expectation. While reviewing the current ration is a good starting point along...

Read more >

MMN November 2023 – Optimal Lighting for Dairy Cows

With margins being tight, it is important to consider marginal gains and what can be done to improve your existing system. There is widespread consensus...

Read more >

MMN September 2023 – Rumen Audits: Maximising Livestock Health and Performance

Introduction Feeding the dairy cow equates to around 51% of the total cost of milk production (Teagasc, 2023). Therefore, maintaining good rumen health is vital...

Read more >

Are your cows being fed sufficiently at grass?

As the longest day is now well past and nights are starting to draw in, milk production from grass is likely not as much as...

Read more >

MMN July 2023 – Small Calf Syndrome (SCS)

SRUC Veterinary Services at St Boswells have recently been investigating the occurrence of unusually small calves from five spring calving suckler herds in the area....

Read more >

MMN July 2023 – Milk Feeding Management of Dairy Heifer Calves

Maximising growth rates of dairy heifer calves during the milk feeding phase is important to get calves off to a good start in life. While...

Read more >

Milk Manager News May 2023 – Making Smart Culling Decisions

Given the fall in milk prices since the start of the year and input costs still relatively high, it is really important to ensure that...

Read more >

Milk Manager News March 2023 – Future Technology on Show at Low Carbon Agriculture Conference

I recently attended the Low Carbon Agriculture Conference at the NAEC in Stoneleigh Park. There were several technology demonstrations across the conference, where companies presented...

Read more >

Milk Manager News January 2023 – Key Performance Indicators for Measuring Fertility

Keeping up-to-date records and monitoring performance is key to identifying fertility issues within the herd. Addressing problems early on will keep you on track to...

Read more >

Dry Cow Nutrition for a Successful Transition into the Milking Herd

This video focuses on the importance of nutrition of dairy cows during the dry period and covers targets for body condition score, energy and protein...

Read more >

Dry Cow Management for a Successful Transition into the Milking Herd

This video discusses the key management factors that are important for a successful transition into the milking herd. Topics covered include feeding space, cow comfort...

Read more >

Milk Manager News November 2022 – Mating Programs for Breed Improvement

Twenty-five years ago, the average size of the dairy herd in the UK was around 70 cows, and back then most farmers would know each...

Read more >

Milk Manager News November 2022 – Cystic Ovaries: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Cystic Ovaries: Causes, Prevention and Treatment Cystic ovaries are most common in the first two months after calving when most health issues occur, and cows...

Read more >

Milk Manager News November 2022 – Thoracic Ultrasound Scanning in Calves

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is a very common and costly disease in dairy calves and early detection and treatment is vital to minimise the impact...

Read more >

Thrill of the Hill – Virtually Stockproof

Thrill of the Hill is back! Season 3 #6 – Virtually Stockproof. In this episode we hear from SAC Consulting’s Malcolm Macdonald & Robert Ramsay...

Read more >

Dry Cow Management for a Successful Transition into the Milking Herd

This factsheet focuses on the non-nutritional factors that are important to help dry dairy cows achieve a trouble free-calving and successful transition into the milking...

Read more >

Milk Manager News September 2022

The September 2022 edition of Milk Manager News is now available. Along with the regular articles on Milk Market Update and Straights Update; this month...

Read more >

Are You At Risk Of Long Bone Deformity?

Long bone deformity appears to have a higher occurrence amongst beef suckler herds.  Calves are born with a dwarf like appearance as a result of...

Read more >

Checking Heifers Pre-Breeding

Difficult calvings are a major drain on resources at calving time, both in terms of labour and finances. While completely eliminating dystocia in cattle is...

Read more >

Reviewing your Concentrate use per Litre

Concentrate use per litre is a key measure of feeding efficiency in the dairy cow.  The less concentrate required for a given level of milk...

Read more >

Disbudding Calves

Disbudding calves is a common management procedure on many beef and dairy farms.  Horns pose as a potential welfare issue to cattle as well as...

Read more >

Rumen Drinking in Calves – What is it and how to avoid it?

Rumen drinking is one of the main causes of mortality that SRUC vets see in dairy calves.  It can be the sole cause of death...

Read more >

Milk Manager News July 2021

The July 2021 edition of Milk Manager News is now available.  Along with the usual articles on Milk Market Update and Straights Update, this month...

Read more >

Controlling Cryptosporidia in Calves

Cryptosporidia is a common cause of scour in dairy calves. Katrina Henderson of SRUC Veterinary Services discusses the main symptoms, how to diagnosis the disease...

Read more >

Precision solutions to animal health & welfare: episode 2

Welcome along to our animal health & welfare series of eight podcasts.  Each podcast will look at the latest research around animal health & welfare,...

Read more >

Reducing Stress in Cows at Calving

Improving cow comfort and reducing cow stress is now seen as a given route to improving production as well as animal welfare.  One of the...

Read more >

Technology for Improved Animal Welfare – The South West Dairy Development Centre

In this 2-part mini-series of podcasts based on Animal Health & Welfare we are speaking with the head of dairy, Duncan Forbes from the Agri-Epi...

Read more >

What should your Voluntary Waiting Period be?

The Voluntary Waiting Period (VWP) is defined as the interval after calving during which producers decide not to breed cows, even if they are seen...

Read more >

Are Your Calves Prepared for Winter?

Now is the time to consider the thermal comfort of your dairy calves as the winter months approach.  The effect of cold on calf health,...

Read more >

Feed Space and Milk Output

The natural behaviour of cows is to synchronise certain habits so that the majority of animals in the herd feed, rest and ruminate at the...

Read more >

Technical Note (TN730): Construction of a Cow Track for Access to Grazing

Summary Cow tracks can lengthen the grazing season from reduced damage to pasture and improved field access in poor weather Correctly constructed cow tracks can...

Read more >

Calf scour practical guide

Read our calf scour practical guide here

Read more >

More in FAS Problem Solver

Select by an area of interest

Nutritional Guidance for the Milking Herd

Nutrition in dairy cattle is a complex area, and many farmers rely on their nutritionist to ensure that the ration for the milking herd is...

Read more >

MMN May 2024 – Slurry Storage: What are the Options?

Once considered a waste product that was scraped into a hole and forgotten about, slurry is now seen as a valuable resource, which if utilised...

Read more >

MMN May 2024 – Risk Factors for Twinning

As dairy cattle have been selected over the years for higher milk production, a higher rate of twinning has also been observed. In fact, the...

Read more >

MMN May 2024 – Colostrum Beyond Antibodies: What is New?

Project: Identifying critical control points for colostrum contamination and Mycoplasma bovis prevalence in first milking colostrum from Scottish dairy herds. When colostrum quality is discussed,...

Read more >

Providing a Comfortable Thermal Environment for Calves

Despite the various methods for housing calves (e.g. individual, paired, group, pens, hutches) the basic principles for housing should be the same. The environment should...

Read more >

MMN March 2024 – Dairy Cow Building Design

Building layout is important to ensure that dairy cows have good access to feed, water and space for lying to maximise cow comfort and productivity....

Read more >

MMN March 2024 – Are Robots for Me?

With the ongoing problem of finding good reliable labour, dairy farmers are increasingly asking themselves: Should I be looking at robots to milk my herd?...

Read more >

MMN March 2024 – How Long are your Heifers Lasting?

According to the recently published NMR 500 Herd KPI Report for 2023, the medium number of lactations per cow at exit was 3.6 and the...

Read more >

MMN January 2024 – Selecting Beef Bulls for Use on Dairy

Sales of sexed dairy semen are increasing year-on-year and have been reported by AHDB to have reached 76.5% out of all dairy semen sales in...

Read more >

MMN January 2024 – Spring Block Calving: How does your Herd Measure Up?

Measuring reproductive performance of the herd can allow comparison between years, areas for improvement can be identified and you can check the effectiveness of management...

Read more >

MMN January 2024 – Colostrum Quality from Heifers

It is often said that the quality of colostrum (in terms of immunoglobin content or IgG) from heifers is not as good as that from...

Read more >

The Benefits of Rumination Monitoring

Cows will typically ruminate for around 500 minutes a day (7-8 hours) and a reduction in rumination time can be a sign that something is...

Read more >

MMN November 2023 – The Power of Benchmarking

The importance of understanding the financial data within your business was one of the sessions at a recent dairy conference “Challenging the Norm: Future Dairy...

Read more >

MMN November 2023 – Investigating the Causes of Poor Milk Production

It can often be the case that cows are not milking according to expectation. While reviewing the current ration is a good starting point along...

Read more >

MMN November 2023 – Optimal Lighting for Dairy Cows

With margins being tight, it is important to consider marginal gains and what can be done to improve your existing system. There is widespread consensus...

Read more >

MMN September 2023 – Rumen Audits: Maximising Livestock Health and Performance

Introduction Feeding the dairy cow equates to around 51% of the total cost of milk production (Teagasc, 2023). Therefore, maintaining good rumen health is vital...

Read more >

Are your cows being fed sufficiently at grass?

As the longest day is now well past and nights are starting to draw in, milk production from grass is likely not as much as...

Read more >

MMN July 2023 – Small Calf Syndrome (SCS)

SRUC Veterinary Services at St Boswells have recently been investigating the occurrence of unusually small calves from five spring calving suckler herds in the area....

Read more >

MMN July 2023 – Milk Feeding Management of Dairy Heifer Calves

Maximising growth rates of dairy heifer calves during the milk feeding phase is important to get calves off to a good start in life. While...

Read more >

Milk Manager News May 2023 – Making Smart Culling Decisions

Given the fall in milk prices since the start of the year and input costs still relatively high, it is really important to ensure that...

Read more >

Milk Manager News March 2023 – Future Technology on Show at Low Carbon Agriculture Conference

I recently attended the Low Carbon Agriculture Conference at the NAEC in Stoneleigh Park. There were several technology demonstrations across the conference, where companies presented...

Read more >

Milk Manager News January 2023 – Key Performance Indicators for Measuring Fertility

Keeping up-to-date records and monitoring performance is key to identifying fertility issues within the herd. Addressing problems early on will keep you on track to...

Read more >

Dry Cow Nutrition for a Successful Transition into the Milking Herd

This video focuses on the importance of nutrition of dairy cows during the dry period and covers targets for body condition score, energy and protein...

Read more >

Dry Cow Management for a Successful Transition into the Milking Herd

This video discusses the key management factors that are important for a successful transition into the milking herd. Topics covered include feeding space, cow comfort...

Read more >

Milk Manager News November 2022 – Mating Programs for Breed Improvement

Twenty-five years ago, the average size of the dairy herd in the UK was around 70 cows, and back then most farmers would know each...

Read more >

Milk Manager News November 2022 – Cystic Ovaries: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Cystic Ovaries: Causes, Prevention and Treatment Cystic ovaries are most common in the first two months after calving when most health issues occur, and cows...

Read more >

Milk Manager News November 2022 – Thoracic Ultrasound Scanning in Calves

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is a very common and costly disease in dairy calves and early detection and treatment is vital to minimise the impact...

Read more >

Thrill of the Hill – Virtually Stockproof

Thrill of the Hill is back! Season 3 #6 – Virtually Stockproof. In this episode we hear from SAC Consulting’s Malcolm Macdonald & Robert Ramsay...

Read more >

Dry Cow Management for a Successful Transition into the Milking Herd

This factsheet focuses on the non-nutritional factors that are important to help dry dairy cows achieve a trouble free-calving and successful transition into the milking...

Read more >

Milk Manager News September 2022

The September 2022 edition of Milk Manager News is now available. Along with the regular articles on Milk Market Update and Straights Update; this month...

Read more >

Are You At Risk Of Long Bone Deformity?

Long bone deformity appears to have a higher occurrence amongst beef suckler herds.  Calves are born with a dwarf like appearance as a result of...

Read more >

Checking Heifers Pre-Breeding

Difficult calvings are a major drain on resources at calving time, both in terms of labour and finances. While completely eliminating dystocia in cattle is...

Read more >

Reviewing your Concentrate use per Litre

Concentrate use per litre is a key measure of feeding efficiency in the dairy cow.  The less concentrate required for a given level of milk...

Read more >

Disbudding Calves

Disbudding calves is a common management procedure on many beef and dairy farms.  Horns pose as a potential welfare issue to cattle as well as...

Read more >

Rumen Drinking in Calves – What is it and how to avoid it?

Rumen drinking is one of the main causes of mortality that SRUC vets see in dairy calves.  It can be the sole cause of death...

Read more >

Milk Manager News July 2021

The July 2021 edition of Milk Manager News is now available.  Along with the usual articles on Milk Market Update and Straights Update, this month...

Read more >

Controlling Cryptosporidia in Calves

Cryptosporidia is a common cause of scour in dairy calves. Katrina Henderson of SRUC Veterinary Services discusses the main symptoms, how to diagnosis the disease...

Read more >

Precision solutions to animal health & welfare: episode 2

Welcome along to our animal health & welfare series of eight podcasts.  Each podcast will look at the latest research around animal health & welfare,...

Read more >

Reducing Stress in Cows at Calving

Improving cow comfort and reducing cow stress is now seen as a given route to improving production as well as animal welfare.  One of the...

Read more >

Technology for Improved Animal Welfare – The South West Dairy Development Centre

In this 2-part mini-series of podcasts based on Animal Health & Welfare we are speaking with the head of dairy, Duncan Forbes from the Agri-Epi...

Read more >

What should your Voluntary Waiting Period be?

The Voluntary Waiting Period (VWP) is defined as the interval after calving during which producers decide not to breed cows, even if they are seen...

Read more >

Are Your Calves Prepared for Winter?

Now is the time to consider the thermal comfort of your dairy calves as the winter months approach.  The effect of cold on calf health,...

Read more >

Feed Space and Milk Output

The natural behaviour of cows is to synchronise certain habits so that the majority of animals in the herd feed, rest and ruminate at the...

Read more >

Technical Note (TN730): Construction of a Cow Track for Access to Grazing

Summary Cow tracks can lengthen the grazing season from reduced damage to pasture and improved field access in poor weather Correctly constructed cow tracks can...

Read more >

Calf scour practical guide

Read our calf scour practical guide here

Read more >

Something else on your mind?