Vetlife have extensive experience in dairy farming which has been gained from working with New Zealand’s most progressive dairy farmers. Vetlife have a focus on proactive service which is designed to increase the profitability of your farm and can provide you access to our extensive dairy consultation services which will add another dimension to your business.

Dairy Herd Health Programmesdairy3

  • Leptospirosis control via the NZVA Leptosure programme. Providing a total risk management plan including a vaccination programme.
  • Lameness control with Dairy NZ’s Healthy Hoof programme. Working to improve lameness in dairy cows through improved management of cows and people with a trained healthy hoof consultant.
  • Mastitis control and milk quality management including grade busting and whole herd paddling with trained vets and technicians.
  • Milk sampling and culture in our own centrally operated laboratory at Temuka.
  • Dairy reproductive services including pregnancy testing and routine non-cycler and synchronisation services.
  • Trained “In Calf” advisors in all main clinics. Aiming for a continuous improvement process by challenging farmers to take a systematic approach towards a sustainable improvement in reproductive performance.
  • Trace element monitoring at critical and regular periods during the year i.e. Pre-calving, pre-mating and pre-drying off.
  • Heifer Monitoring: A program to make sure your heifers reach those important live weight targets for maximum production and reproduction. Regular weighing and tailored advice ensure that there are no animal health barriers to your heifers reaching their full potential.
  • Animal Health Planners: A fully interactive web based animal health programme for your dairy operation covering all the major health events from calf to cull. Capable of sending out text based alerts for upcoming events, this management aid will mean that you can be confident that your stock will receive the animal health interventions they need, when they need them.
  • Access to our resident nutritional farm consultant at the Vetlife Dairy Excellence Centre for in depth analysis of your farm operation.
Heifer Monitoring Programme
Key Points of Difference

For more information or to talk to one of our staff please contact your local clinic.

Why use a Monitoring Programme?

The proper management of replacement heifers on a dairy farm is crucial to future productivity. However, day – to – day dairy farm management leaves little time for the intense effort required for best results. Proper monitoring of parasite control and nutrition in order to reach target weights for mating and calving is vital. If the optimal target weight for mating is not reached the heifers will calve much later in the season.  In their first lactation, undersized heifers are less productive than those at the optimal weight, prone to problems during calving and are more likely to be culled at the end of the season.  If they survive in the herd, they go on to produce less milk during their lifetime. Heifers that are over the optimal target weight are also a challenge to productivity.  A partnership with a Vetlife vet to achieve the best management of dairy heifers will detect issues before they become problematic, cut down on emergency, expensive treatments and lead to increased profits.
Vetlife has developed a heifer monitoring programme that is committed to helping clients get the best economic return from their replacement stock. The initial step is for farmer and vet to develop a programme covering target weights and rates of growth, nutritional advice to meet these targets, worm control and the monitoring of parasite burdens, vaccination and mineral monitoring and administration.
Vetlife then contracts with the farmer to weigh the heifers between 6 and 10 times over their first year and 3-4 times or more in the second. This is done using one of Vetlife’s own portable weigh crushes, computer scales and software.  Worming, vaccination and administration of minerals as determined by the programme agreed with the farmer are carried out.   Two members of Vetlife staff are made available to do this, one of whom is a vet.  A written report is provided at each weighing, highlighting the rate of live weight gain, the performance and distribution of the group with respect to their target weights and any remedial action that needs to be taken.
Feed-back about this service has been extremely positive. The programme is extremely flexible, with the range of services selected by the owner in consultation with a vet. It can offer peace of mind to owner and grazier that an independent party is monitoring the health and weight gain of the heifers.  Having a regular schedule of tasks laid out for the heifer rearing plus two extra labour units to help in the administration of product can also take some of the hassle out of the operation.
Strategically monitoring replacement heifers in partnership with a vet can improve the production and profitability of the herd and provide a better return on investment. In comparison to the problems that could arise – can you afford not to? More information on Vetlife’s heifer rearing programme can be found at any Vetlife clinic.


 For more information or to talk to one of our staff please contact your local clinic.

Technical Services to Help Management on the Farm

Vetlife run a calf disbudding programme in the spring which each season disbuds calves painlessly and with minimal stress for operator and calf. Regular pre-booked visits can be arranged and the work will be done by our vets and techs so that farm staff are free for other tasks. Regular fertility visits in the spring and teatsealing in the winter are two more areas where our teams of vets and techs can help with on farm tasks.


For more information or to talk to one of our staff please contact your local clinic.

Suitable ways to manage down cows – Recommendations of Dairy Australia and Dr Phil Poulton


There has been more negative dairy footage released by SAFE recently of a downer cow being shifted by hip clamps.

The following YouTube clips are suitable ways to manage down cows produced by Dairy Australia featuring Dr Phil

Poulton from Tarwin Veterinary Group. We hope these help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOiYM7S4ECI – Assessing the down cow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REadbA1xz0I – Lifting the down cow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnRbbEZTlHI – Moving the down cow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktP08K5J0rM – Rolling the down cow

For more information or to talk to one of our staff please contact your local clinic.