Starting in September 2017, proAction’s Animal Care module will require a cattle assessment prior to the on-farm validation. This will assess a random sample of the lactating herd for:
- Body condition score;
- Hock, neck and knee injuries; and
- Lameness prevalence
(See Figure 1 below to determine the number of cattle assessed by herd size).
Following the assessment, the farm will receive a report comparing its scores to national herd scores. Any cattle measures that fall in the bottom 25 per cent compared to the national herd require a written corrective action plan. These farms must improve their scores before their next cattle assessment.
For the next two years, the Dairy Farmers of Canada has contracted Holstein Canada to conduct cattle assessments on every farm in Canada. This will develop a consistent national benchmark for cattle-based measures. Holstein Canada assessors have undergone stringent training to complete these assessments.
The cost of an assessment is a $100 visit fee plus $6 per animal assessed. This fee will be waived for Holstein Canada classifying clients. In these cases, producers will still be responsible for their usual classification fees.
Holstein Canada will contact farms directly to set-up an appointment approximately four months in advance of visiting a particular region. Refusal to allow Holstein Canada to complete a cattle assessment could result in a farm’s withdrawal from proAction. Associated penalties would then be applied.
If you have any questions about the cattle assessments, please contact our proAction team at 604-294-3775.
FIGURE 1 - SAMPLE SIZE CALCULATOR
Average # of cattle
in milking herd (lactating)
minimum # of cattle
|< 20||14||All to every 2nd|
Note: Holstein Canada is aware of farm validation schedules and will be contacting you at an appropriate time for your assessment. If you are a classifying client, this may not necessarily be at your next classificaton visit.