Herd of dairy cows
Healthy herd diagram

Healthy Herd Programme and NEMi

To guarantee our cows have the correct levels of organic Selenium in their diet and enjoy excellent health we work alongside our farmers, their local vets and the world-renowned Edinburgh University 'Dairy Herd Health and Productivity Scheme' DHHPS.

Our herds have regular blood sampling sessions to establish, maintain and improve their health. These tests also give us the required level of organic Selenium (Sel-Plex) for optimum cow health.

All herds are tested annually for the six primary diseases that can affect cow health with any necessary action taken after consultation with the local vet.

Our cows are monitored and evaluated every month for the following:

1) Healthy Lifespan

Cow health is the top priority of this programme. We can only guarantee consistently enriched milk if our cows are healthy.

A longer healthy lifespan for our cows can be demonstrated over time by comparing the average productive age of our cows with other herds recorded in the United Kingdom.

We highlight our cows' average age versus the national cow average age and give awards to farmers whose cows stay healthier for longer.

2) Sustainable Production

To monitor individual aspects such as health and fertility we first obtain a broad range of baseline information for use throughout the Healthy Herd programme.

This data is collected by our nutritionist as part of the monthly monitoring visit with the farmer.

The diet that a cow receives has a major bearing on how much milk she gives and how healthy she is through all stages of her lactation, including when she is dry.

Cows are carefully monitored by trained nutritionists every month to ensure that the diet is balanced and milk production is efficient and sustainable.

3) Fertile Herd

Effective fertility management in dairy cows is a key component of sustainable, profitable dairy farming.

Using Herdwatch Plus we monitor the fertility of our herds and benchmark them against all United Kingdom dairy herds on both NMR and CIS monitoring systems.

Benchmarking allows us to demonstrate that the healthier a herd, the more fertile it is.

4) Milk Quality

Monitoring the average milk quality of a herd on a weekly basis, and comparing this with all individual cow's milk quality on a monthly basis, allows us to assess the overall nutritional benefit of the herd's current diet.

General milk quality indicates energy and protein status.
SCC (somatic cell count) gives us clear pointers to areas of herd health that require attention.

We target improvements in individual and herd SCC milk levels versus the United Kingdom average. http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/vet/services/farm-animal-services/dairy

NEMi Milk: Deliciously Healthy Dairy

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