Healthy feet give healthy profits

Jonny carries out regular footbathing on the farm's pedigree herd of 'Lisnasure Holsteins'
Jonny carries out regular footbathing on the farm's pedigree herd of 'Lisnasure Holsteins'

Lameness is one of the most common animal health and welfare issues on Northern Ireland dairy farms.

Ensuring the level of lameness within a herd is kept to a minimum is vital so that each cow has a successful and profitable lactation.

To combat lameness, many dairy farmers across the province carry out regular footbathing.

This is the case on Donagh Cottage farm at Donaghcloney where Brian Matthews and his son Jonny own and manage the farm’s pedigree herd of ‘Lisnasure Holsteins’.

Jonny explains: “We have routinely carried out footbathing over the years and tried various products but have always come back to using either standard formaldehyde or bluestone.

“Six months ago we heard of a new footbath product ‘Formaldehyde Blend’ and decided to try it out.

“Formaldehyde blend is a unique combination of formaldehyde with copper and zinc sulphate in a liquid solution.

“The 3 in 1 solution has proven to be highly effective in tackling lameness diseases such as digital dermatitis (DD).”

Jonny continued: “We have noticed a steady improvement in hoof health since we started using formaldehyde blend.

“This is backed up by our hoof trimmer who now finds very little DD across the herd. We have also been able to reduce the frequency of our footbathing and now only treat once a week with a 5% solution of formaldehyde blend.

“We are very happy with the product and intend to keep using it for the foreseeable future.”

Formaldehyde blend is available through various agri-merchants across Northern Ireland and R.O.I.

For more information or to find your local distributor contact timothy@ccsni.co.uk or ring 07894 934650 weekdays.