Rethinking animal health
What is the best way to deal with bacterial challenges in dairy cows? And what role do biofilms play in this? Over 70 dairy farmers and consultants from central Germany accepted AHV’s invitation to learn more about sustainable animal health.
Under the motto “Rethinking animal health”, AHV invited them to Leipzig for scientific presentations and practical experiences. Are there alternatives to traditional methods? What is the science behind AHV products? Are there new, innovative solutions in the field of animal health? Farm managers, herd managers and vets came to the event with these questions.
Strengthening animal health and supporting the immune system
Dirk Ulrich, Director Europe at AHV International, welcomed the participants and introduced the AHV approach. The international company’s products utilise modern biotechnology and are based on the principles of “quorum sensing”, the molecular language of bacteria. AHV International has been developing product solutions for cows, calves, pigs, fish and poultry for over ten years. These strengthen animal health and support the animals’ immune system in a natural way.
Biofilms protect bacteria that harm the host animal
Biofilms are formed by bacteria. “We all know the layer of slime that surrounds stones in water,” explained Johanna Fink-Gremmels, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology from Utrecht. In dairy cattle barns, biofilms are mainly found in water pipes and drinking troughs. In nature, they are not really a problem. But they can contain undesirable bacteria and bring them into the vicinity of humans and animals. Biofilms are therefore undesirable in the animal organism. If bacteria enter the animal’s body and form a biofilm there, they are not visible to the immune system and are therefore protected. In situations where the animal is weakened, the bacteria can be released from the biofilm and cause damage. This leads to serious reactions in the body. However, biofilms can be destabilised with plant molecules. These plant ingredients can be found, for example, in the products of the biotechnology company AHV.
AHV products destabilise the biofilm
Bert Bakker heads the QSB laboratory in the Netherlands. His team researches biofilms in order to improve the health of animals, plants and humans. “The AHV products interfere with bacterial communication. This destabilises the biofilm,” reported Bakker. They also support the animals’ immune system. The positive effect on animal health is based on pure plant extracts. Due to the mechanism of action, recurring challenges are not possible.
Proactively improving animal health
“Proactive action improves animal health and has a positive influence on performance parameters,” Dr Nicolas Mertens, Sales Manager in Germany and Austria, made clear in his practical report. “On farms that work with us, the milk yield per cow and day can quickly increase by one to two kilograms. Milk constituents and fertility improve and the use of conventional medicinal products decreases.” This leads to a longer service life and is also financially worthwhile for farmers.
Udder health improves by 50% in practical tests
As a Farm Advisor, Isabelle Kuhn works closely with her customers. Every month, she analyses the milk yield test and pays particular attention to animals in their first and second lactation. This enables her to recommend which products will best help the individual animals. “As a rule, the cell count in the MLP improves significantly within 4 months!” says the Farm Advisor from Saxony.
75% less supply with conventional preparations
Dörte Roselius is a practising vet and looks after dairy cow farms between Hamburg and Brandenburg. She recommends AHV products, particularly for udder challenges and postpartum care of dairy cows. The farms have had great success with this: significantly fewer udder problems, consistently good feeding behaviour, higher milk yields, lower milk fever rates and an easier afterbirth. In addition, the use of conventional methods fell by 75%. Roselius emphasises that willpower counts. Because the prerequisites for these successes are extensive observation, timely action, precise agreements in herd management and patience.
Investing in the future
“We have to deal with recurring challenges,” Antje Schulz and Gerd Erhardt from Zuchtbetrieb Schulze GbR are convinced. They want to test the AHV products on their cows and calves and see it as an investment in the future. It would be a great success for them if they were soon able to dispense with medical preparations when the afterbirth and unwanted udder bacteria occur.