“Take care of the cow and they will take care of you”
The Idaho-based dairy farm is run by manager Chris Rood. Chris Rood says “take care of the cow and they will take care of you.” This is how he became a fan of AHV protocols for the herd of 600 cattle he manages at Stewart Dairy in Nampa, Idaho.
Rood has been in the dairy industry most of his life, and managing this farm, which is a 50 year old family-owned dairy, for 6 months. He’s used AHV since it first came to the US, over 2 years ago. Chris says he was tired of giving the traditional methods, where it was the “same old thing. It sort of works but mostly doesn’t.” So, he heard of AHV and tried the products, which fit with his philosophy of being as natural as possible and building immune systems for prevention, instead of taking action when the harm is already done.
Commitment to animal welfare and longevity
He mentions that animal welfare and overall herd health are main concerns. They do not yell or push cattle around roughly, and they want longevity out of them. They have some cows that are 8-10 lactation cows. He says they don’t want to “turn and burn” cows but rather sell good quality milk and even beef products. Now, Stewart Dairy is breeding to Angus bulls and raising out the beef calves, but with AHV, they can also sell their culled dairy cows for beef, since there is no withdrawal period. They even have a basement in their barn, so the machinery is below ground, cutting back on noise and ambient stress for the cattle. Everyone works calmly to keep the cattle calm as well.
No room for error
Rood comments that AHV changed their entire program, as they “don’t even have a hospital pen anymore.” He mentions that helps them from a space and labor perspective (“the labor and time savings is huge”), which saves money, but also that the cows are a lot less stressed when they are with their herd in their familiar home pens, instead of stuck in a hospital pen with strange cows and getting pushed around. He also says he likes how he is focusing on the entire cow and building her immune system, not just focusing on one quarter or a uterus. And there is no “room for error” where you might end up with antibiotic in a tank of milk, which would cost thousands of dollars.
It is also financially attractive
“I thought it (AHV) was expensive until I started looking at the pros and cons of it. By the time I figured out the labor and space savings, the ROI on keeping the milk in the tank, and I had a huge return on not having to replace cows. It just made so much sense. Besides it is easier for us being a smaller dairy to use AHV.” Rood mentions he “doesn’t worry anymore, because we aren’t working with traditional methods anymore. She gets better or we ship for beef that day, and we don’t worry about it, but I get to make the decision and I have options. And my re-treats have gone down 15-20%. Our somatic cell count is around 100 which is where we want it, and we have a closed herd and don’t buy replacements, so we like to keep everything as healthy as possible as long as possible.”
Less stress on-farm
Rood mentions how AHV makes him at ease because he knows that people make mistakes, and with AHV, he knows everything is fine, “even if the wrong cow gets an AHV product, it just boosts her immune system, and the milk and meat are fine, and you’re not worried about employees. And the cattle are less stressed, I’m less stressed, and everyone is just doing great.” He says “Why wouldn’t you use AHV?”
These products are mentioned by Chris Rood:
Note: Chris uses Quick, Extra, and Aspi for udder health challenges, and Metri and Milk Start Paste for any uterine concerns. He uses collars, so he can see an increase of rumination on cows who received an AHV product compared to the old way they did things. AHV protocols fit into his philosophy of being as natural as possible and keeping the cattle low stress and immune healthy.
Milk Start Paste
Get in touch!
Would you like to be visited by an advisor to discuss the health challenges on your farm together? Our AHV Farm Advisor will be happy to visit you to jointly assess the health of your cows and come up with appropriate cow-specific advice.
US – Get in touch
"*" indicates required fields