We know that healthy animals are more productive animals. That means that immunity matters, big time. The long-term health of your herd depends on the robust immunity of each individual animal. It’s a simple concept, but achieving it is much more complicated. When looking at immunity there is a myriad of factors that come into play – a complex set of challenges and opportunities. We’re going to take an in-depth look into this to help Canadian farmers achieve healthier herds and feed the future.
In dairy cattle, there are both environmental stressors such as disease-causing agents, and metabolic challenges associated with calving and milk production that can accelerate poor health throughout the production cycle. In addition, exposure to bacteria and viruses during a physically demanding and stressful phase of a dairy cow’s life cycle can lead to more severe illness and production losses.
Finding and examining these environmental stressor and metabolic challenges is crucial. The next step is setting up some farm management and feeding solutions to these.
Innovative Feed Solutions
70% of an animal’s immune system resides in its gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, what the animal is eating and the nutrition that it is provided could influence how well its immune system is functioning.
We need to investigate the best feed additives for aTMR that will boost immunity in your herd.
Immunity at all stages of life
Nutritionally, animals have different needs at different stages of life. It’s also important that an animal’s immune system is developed as soon as possible. A healthy start can sets the animal up for the rest of its life.
Transition calves, transition cows, dry cows and neonatal calves all pose their own unique challenges. And we have to be able to handle them all.
The DNA process
Trouw Nutrition/Shur-Gain’s Dairy Nutrition Advisor (DNA) process identifies opportunities in four areas – people, animals, facilities, and feeds. This includes looking at areas like the various stages of production of the animals, facilities, forages and feed stuffs, management, and records.
The DNA process can help identify potential challenges that animals are facing and offer opportunities to help meet those challenges – whether its people, facilities, feed or animal related.