DHI CASE STUDY – GRAHAM WELLS
DAIRY HOOF CARE INSTITUTE OF NEW ZEALAND
Owner/Operations Manager of Twin River Dairies
On the Canterbury Plains 800 cows on 205 ha Fully irrigated, milking Platform
HOW DHI’S LAMENESS MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP REDUCED TIME AND COST IN THE TREATMENT OF LAME COWS FOR TWIN RIVER DAIRIES
Minimising the Time and Cost Effects of Cow Lameness
Graham Wells had invested time and energy into treating the lameness on his farm. He knew it impacted on the welfare of the cows, production levels, worker hours, general morale and, ultimately, profits. He read numerous articles, spoke to a variety of practitioners, and watched practical demonstrations. Yet, he knew that his practice wasn’t being effective. He was still losing money and wasting precious hours of time he should be using elsewhere.
DHI’s One Day Lameness Management Workshop Provided Comprehensive Theory and Practical Experience
Practical Experience and Mastery of Techniques
Graham signed up for Dairy Hoofcare Institute NZ’s one day “Lameness Management Workshop“, run by Fred Hoekstra.
He learned practical, hands-on training for the Dutch hoof trimming technique. This was reinforced by Fred’s emphasis on mastery. He took the time to patiently make sure Graham was using the right techniques and had the skills to go back and use them on his farm.
“We got to actually implement what he, in theory, showed us at the beginning of the course…and then he was able to look over our shoulder and correct and double check what we were doing. And that’s what made the difference.”
Prevention Theory without Judgement
Graham also learned up-to-date, holistic theory on preventing lameness. This was presented in a patient, non-judgemental way without any sense of guilt or blame. The idea of limiting the use of antibiotics was challenging. He did end up taking this on board because of the confidence the course had given him in his hoof-trimming and block application techniques.
“A lot of people would consider
[hoof trimming] one of the most frustrating and loathsome jobs… Yet Fred, it’s his passion. So if it is a difficult job they put off, and it’s his passion, well then, it’s worth listening to the man to find out what it is that makes him tick to get it right.”
– Graham Wells
Peace of Mind, Lower costs and Higher Productivity
A Confident Approach to Hoofcare with the Knock-on Effect of Peace of Mind,
Lower Costs, and Higher Productivity.
Doing the course had a significant impact, very quickly, on both the cost and time effects of cow lameness. Graham and his team:
- can, daily, quickly and confidently identify and treat any lameness they see.
- have decreased costs through limiting the use of penicillin by around 60%.
- have decreased cow’s days away from the income-producing herd.
- now have peace of mind.
“Before the course, I was probably 70% confident with what I was doing. And… after having done the course with Fred, I felt I was a good 90% confident…Being able to confidently draft a cow out and think, ‘Yep, I haven’t even looked at this cow but I know I’ll be able to fix it.’ was the big thing with me doing the course and getting my staff to do it.”
The Management Benefits for an Operations Manager
One day’s training has allowed Graham to lead his team with more confidence than ever. He knows what his workers are doing and why. He sees how the whole picture affects a cow’s wellbeing. Everything fits together. He is confident this knowledge will continue to bring improvements and results for the farm. A small investment, with huge potential.
Find out more about DHI’s “Lameness Management Workshop” for you or your staff and invest in your farm’s productivity.