“Our livestock are getting older with this health approach.”
In Hensbroek in the province of North Holland, we are guests at the Lady Holstein dairy farm. The farm is run by Peter and Miranda and their son Jim Schilder. The Schilder family started with AHV solutions in December 2019. The family came across the company through an article in a trade magazine. The article discussed solutions for udder health, coincidentally a relevant topic that was at play on the dairy farm.
“We used to use alternative means (such as boluses based on garlic and snake poison), but we never really saw result with them. As a result, we had little confidence in AHV’s solutions in the beginning. In December 2019 we had a cow with udder problems that we had given up on. We then treated this cow with AHV with the thought; if you don’t try it, you don’t know if it works. We gave this cow an AHV Extra Tablet and coincidentally or not, the next day she was the first to stand in the milking parlour. This increased our confidence in the solutions of AHV and from that moment on we started to support more cows with the solutions of AHV,” said Peter Schilder.
‘It doesn’t just work well; it works much better than the regular remedies.’
In December 2019, the family noticed that the regular remedies were not having the effect that was needed to get and keep the animals healthy. “When you use regular remedies, you know that there is still tension in the udder. You tackle it temporarily, but the problems come back later. The problems that remain are also a danger to the rest of your herd. After all, you don’t want them to take over these problems.
“For udder health we now use the solutions of AHV, namely the Extra, Quick and Aspi. We use this at different times, based on the MPR, based on tests with four-quarter scales and when we see that a cow has problems.” In this way, the family tries to monitor the cows as closely as possible. “When a cow has calved, we routinely test the health status of the udder with a four-quarter scale. When a quarter is lacking, we give the Extra Tablet as a standard procedure, we don’t wait anymore.” After this, the problem is solved,” says son Jim.
“When we have a cow with udder problems, we treat her with AHV solutions. The problems are usually solved quickly, and they don’t come back as quickly.”
‘A longer life begins with calf rearing.’
In the past, the dairy farm suffered a lot from diarrhoea. “You noticed that the calves that survived it were severely underdeveloped. The intestines had become damaged, which you could see coming back to the older herd at a later stage. The family gives the calves AHV Calf Start as a standard procedure from day one. This is to support the animals in the first critical phase of life. In addition, they also give the AHV Respi in case of lung and respiratory problems.
“You notice that the calves are a lot stronger and have fewer problems. You see this again when they become dairy cows. They are much stronger and are a lot more active, these are hidden benefits of AHV’s products. If you look at how much a bucket of Calf Start costs, then you also have to look at how much it benefits you, when the calves start producing, you will see that they are much stronger and healthier. It is easy to do the math,” says Jim Schilder.
The cows are getting older!
The average age of the cows when they leave the farm is currently 6 years and 9 months. Before the family started using AHV, the average age was 5 years and 6 months. And the average age can only get better according to Peter and Jim. “The calves and heifers we have on the farm now started with few problems because we supported them from day 0. As a result, the average age of the herd can only get higher.”
“You don’t have to treat your cows with regular remedies anymore. We did this in the past, but the cows never completely recovered. This led, for example, to three-teat cows or to the animals coming back a month later as a case of attention and then you had to start all over again. This is a thing of the past for us! The current health approach causes much less stress, improves animal health and increases job satisfaction.”
About the dairy farm
The herd of dairy farm Lady Holstein consists of 100 dairy cows and 40 calves. The company uses outdoor grazing and has a 2×10 side-by-side milking parlour. The average milk production is 9400. Lactose content is 4.46%, protein 3.48% and fat 4.42%.