'The vet still calls out, but I have a bit more money in my pocket'
Six years ago Cork farmer Dick O'Neill sat down with his vet and nutritionist and decided to do something about the health of animals on his farm.
He milks 260 cows in Cork, and told the recent Cattle Association of Veterinary Ireland conference that his is a run-of-the mill farm when it comes to animal health.
"Six years ago I sat down with my vet and nutritionist and looked at dosing, vaccinations and other problems and set down a co-ordinated approach about what we could do with the timings of vaccines.
"We were already spending the money before we started this, we were administrating the vaccines and dosing the animals.
"So we didn’t have to invest more money. But it was the time to organise and plan ahead so we get the best response from the vaccines."
According to Dick, it took just a two-hour meeting to go through the health of the herd.
"Issues we had were not any different to other farmers - we had scours, milk fever, mastitis - all fairly run of the mill stuff."
The farm, he said, was also vaccinating for calf scour, but to get the value of this you need to not feed the calves with cows' milk for three weeks.