Video: See how this French vet tackles disease prevention on dairy farms
Tommy Heffernan of Avondale Veterinary Clinic in Arklow recently travelled to France to meet the bagpipe playing, highland cattle owning, vet, Olivier Crenn who has a passion for preventing disease in cows.
Based in Cossé-le-Vivien in north western France, by carrying out what he calls “global visits” on farms, Olivier hopes to reduce reliance on antibiotics at farm level.
“I’m interested in medicine, metabolism, nutrition and preventing disease,” Olivier said.
“It’s important to have results. We are scientists. You must put more science into practice. How you can reduce antibiotics is by finding out what is preventing diseases.”
Tommy accompanied Olivier on numerous farm visits where he focused on monitoring cow, heifer and calf health.
On one farm Olivier measures the diet feeding and colostrum level of calves.
“By weighing cows we can measure the growth rate each day. It determines how healthy they are and if they’re hitting their targets,” said Tommy.
On the same farm, Tommy and Olivier examine the milk recording beater next to the rotary parlour, which tells the farmer exactly what type of nutrition a cow needs.