Introducing a preventative TB measure will go some way to help improve on-farm biosecurity.
Backed by recent research, Rumenco’s versatile Badger Blocker feeder helps limit badgers’ access to mineral licks, blocks and tubs by raising supplement products a metre off the ground, a height based on Defra recommendations.
Matthew Smith, a dairy farmer from Burton-On-Tent, explains how he introduced the Badger Blocker feeder two years ago, to help improve on-farm bio-security measures.
“We run 450 Holstein cross Montbéliarde cattle, consisting of 250 milking cows, 100 in calf heifers and 100 replacement animals,” says Mr Smith.
“We’ve had an on-off problem with TB for a number of years. And, although TB doesn’t affect us selling our milk, it does stop us selling our bull calves which affects our cash flow.”
The restrictions put on the business meant Mr Smith was keen to introduce the Badger Blocker feeder as a method to help prevent badger-cow contact, and improve existing biosecurity measures.
“Having young stock outside in the summer, means they’re at a greater risk of coming into contact with badgers and wildlife which have the potential to spread disease.
“As soon as we heard Rumenco had designed these feeders, we started to use them in the fields to raise blocks off the ground.”
The plastic base can be filled with water, providing a stable, safe platform that has the flexibility to hold all designs of mineral licks, blocks and tubs. “The cattle can’t knock the feeders over and they can access the blocks easily.
“We’re also able to drive up to the feeders with the quad and easily replace the blocks, saving us time.”
Mr Smith says: “The Badger Blocker feeders are a preventative measure rather than a cure. But, everything we can do to help stop the spread of TB, we’re willing to try, to help us get back to normal.”