Vet Amy Avery prmoting calf rearing programme, Future Cow

Future Cow: Calf rearing and herd health

Vetlife production animal veterinarian Amy Avery has been practicing with Vetlife for over 13 years, the last eight of which have been at Vetlife Temuka. Amy has an active interest in calf rearing and herd health and is a keen proponent of our ‘Future Cow’ programme.

Amy chose to specialise in farm animals after graduation in 2006, working for her local practice in Salisbury, UK.

“One area I am particularly enthusiastic about is calf and heifer rearing. Much research has been done in the last decade around the production benefits of growing youngstock well”. 

Despite this, however, it is not uncommon for many farms to have over 10% of their youngstock under target weight. This has huge knock-on consequences when they reach lactation both as lost production whilst they continue to grow and retention rates in the herd as, if undergrown, they often struggle to get in calf a second time.

As a result of this a few years ago, colleagues across Vetlife, including Amy, developed a calf rearing and heifer monitoring program called ‘Future Cow’. This starts with the education of the whole team about calf rearing with follow-up monitoring right until they reach the dairy herd.

“We work with individual farms and tailor a plan to their requirements. The improvements I have seen in this space have been very rewarding for the whole farm team and I would encourage anyone who would like to see an improvement in their youngstock performance to get in touch”. 

Like many of our vets, Amy’s other areas of interests include mastitis, lameness and infectious disease management. Amy is also both a NMAC (National Mastitis Advisory Committee) accredited vet and Healthy Hoof accredited, and regularly gets involved on client’s farms when they have an issue in these areas. Amy is currently studying sustainable food and farming, learning such things as regenerative farming which is becoming a focus across the agricultural industry.

“The best thing about my job is when I feel I am truly involved in a farm team working with all farm staff, owners, and other advisors on the farm.  This is when things really come together, and progress gets made and its not only rewarding for me but for the whole farm team too”.