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Diary of BBC+. What is autumn?...

Diary of BBC+. What is autumn?...

Do you think that you have crazy work schedule? Are you usually asked to come to the office or sent to business trips at any moment? What would you say if you only had a chance to sleep 6 hours a day though with breaks, to get up with alarm clock ringing and have no chance to luxuriate in a soft bed for a minute or two, and if you had to work the rest of the time? This is exactly the work schedule of BBC+[1]team, either of experienced specialist or junior staff member.

In most cases a human can wait and take care of oneself while a cow which lives with its congeners cannot wait: ill-timed feeding leads to milk yield decrease, delay of milking – to health problems, improper cowshed cleaning to more severe health problems.

In autumn problems with health in cattle double as climate changes from warm to cold quite fast. Moreover, feed for winter should be prepared. Moisture is all over the farm which leads to lameness.

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Thus, BBC+ is snowed under with work, as usual, because the main task of the team is to make all possible to help farmers to solve their problems.

BBC+ has just finished their work atFarm 5, and here comes new order from Farms 6 and 7 located in Tashkent Region.

After senior BBC+ staff had visited the farms, the range of problems to be solved by the team was revealed and action plan developed.

Hence, at Farm 6 special attention was paid to diagnosis and treatment of lameness.

Lameness of different severity is a topical problem at many dairy farms across Uzbekistan. There are different reasons for their appearance:

  • Frequent changes in ration and improper feeding;
  • No preparation of cow for calving;
  • Poor housing conditions (wet bedding, constant standing on concrete floor);
  • Penetration of tiny stones under hoof surface, and so on.

Wehave already writtenabout these problems. Yet taking into account current situation with lameness at farms in Uzbekistan it will be useful to repeat once again:

Lameness is a major cost to the dairy herd!

This cost has three main components: the economic losses resulting from reduced production; the labour costs associated with the treatment and husbandry of chronically lame animals, and the welfare costs of suffering to the individual affected cow (See: "Cattle Lameness and Hoofcare").

In those cows which can be treated, there is often a dramatic weight loss, milk yield falls and, in protracted cases in early lactation, fertility is affected. In addition, there will be the costs of treatment, whether on-farm labour is used or veterinary attention is sought.

If antibiotics are administered milk cannot be used as food that is why it is not poured into general tank but is discarded. Unfortunately, some farmers still mix all milk which further has negative influence on quality of milk processing plant’s product if farmer delivers milk to some.

In advances cases cows have to be culled which means additional expenses on replacement. This is quite common situation at farms across Uzbekistan.

Hence, the first thing done at Farm 6 was medical examination of the whole milking herd consisting from 41 head. Many animals suffered from lameness in all 4 legs. Unhealthy animals were placed to a separate shed for time of treatment.

Majority of hooves were injured with mould (slurry heal) and digital dermatitis (ulcers). More severe infectious lesions such as perforating deep wound of the sole were diagnosed in some animals.

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BBC+ team decided to administer complex treatment of affected animals. It included:

  • Hoof trimming;
  • Management (treatment) of hooves;
  • Antibiotics treatment;
  • Application of dressings.

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On ourYouTube channelyou can find avideoof how our specialists applies dressing to an affected hoof ==>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9WI5-YtUl8

As the result of BBC+ team work at this farm, 20 cows recovered completely. As 8 cows had more severe lesions and more complex treatment was administered, by the end of BBC+ work at the farm they had positive dynamics to recovery.

At Farm 7 work of BBC+ concentrated on but was not limited to treatment of lameness. After medical examination of the herd of 29 cows it was revealed that all animals were extremely emaciated and weak, and bedsores and lameness were observed in almost all cows. Moreover:

  1. There was no single approach to calves and cows health management.
  2. Registration of treatment and veterinary activities was not carried out.
  3. Ration was quite limited and poor.
  4. Lameness treatment and prevention was barely administered.


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Hence, BBC+ team set the following goals:

  1. To develop and introduce regular feeding ration.
  2. Administer course of treatment and vitaminization of weakened and emaciated cows.
  3. Administer complex treatment and prevention activities of lameness.
  4. Administer course of treatment and prevention activities of diseases in calves.
  5. Improve housing conditions.

Among all 24 dairy cows 19 head suffered hooves problems of different severity. Majority of hooves were affected with mould (slurry heal), digital dermatitis (ulcers) and laminitis. Often 2 or 3 hooves were affected in one animal. Moreover, deep inner bedsores at hip sites were found.

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As the cows were extremely emaciated and due to lack of treatment and prevention activities at the farm, lameness stage was advanced and difficult to cure. As the result of complex treatment administration healing process went quite satisfactory.

As the result of unskilled hooves trimming in the past (before BBC+ team have started their work at the farm) all cows had open soles which slowed down healing process considerably as hooves can be sound again only when hoof horn restores completely (see “Cattle Lameness and Hoofcare” (http://bizplan-uz.com/industries/milk/12580/) for explanation of importance of correct hooves trimming).

Due to previously held improper treatment of laminitis pedal bones in many cows were completely removed. Their condition was evaluated as extremely severe and separate intensive course of treatment was applied.

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Usually, bricks or concrete are used as bedding at farms in Uzbekistan. Several months later, bricks or underpour start crashing. This leads to appearance of small stones in cowsheds which injure animals extremities.

Lately, in order to prevent such injuries rubber mats are used as bedding at livestock farms across the world (with additional hay upper layer). To get more information about advantages of such bedding please read Mastitis and Metritis Prevention at a Diary Farmand Environmentally safe rubber bedding for livestock farms. Furthermore, on ourYouTube Channelyou can watch video presentation of one of rubber mats producer already operating in Uzbekistan ==>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fppl9e_pbcI.

Moreover, BBC+ specialist carried out 2 courses of vitaminization and developed ration for the herd at Farm 7. After cows have started intaking ration, positive dynamics to faster recovery was observed.

In ourprevious dairywe have already mentioned that often farm workers are skeptical about BBC+ recommendations at first. Unfortunately, the same situation happened at Farm 7.

However, after one month of intensive therapy 5 out of 19 cows completely recovered from lameness. The number is so small due to the following violations in management of the farm:

  • Feeding area is filled with manure;
  • Cow feeding and housing areas are wet and dirty;
  • Ration was fed with violations.

Taking the abovementioned into account, in order to avoid decline in animals health and to increase efficiency of treatment, BBC+ team took serious measures so that farm workers followed:

  • Daily work schedule;
  • Labour and procedures discipline;
  • Timely feeding of ration to animals.

As the result of implementation of both medicinal and disciplinary measures, 10 more cows from 14 lame completely recovered.

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Thus, 15 out of 19 cows recovered completely and it was recommended to continue course of treatment assigned by BBC+ specialists of the remaining 4 cows with more severe stage of lameness. It can be done by farm workers as BBC+ team taught them how to do it.

P.S.: After finishing work at Farm 6 farm owner expressed his gratitude to BBC+ team.Read >>http://bizplan-uz.com/news/285/36641/.

[1] BBC+ - abbreviation from Russian meaning Traveling Veterinary Service

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