Bovicare GmbH

Haus, Germany

Bovicare GmbH

Haus, Germany
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Abb-Schwedler K.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture | Maeschli A.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture | Boss R.,Agroscope Liebefeld Posieux Research Station | Graber H.U.,Agroscope Liebefeld Posieux Research Station | And 3 more authors.
BMC Veterinary Research | Year: 2014

Background: Infection pathways of S. aureus udder infections in heifers are still not well understood. One hypothesis is that calves become infected with S. aureus via feeding mastitis milk. Especially on small-scale farms, pasteurisers are not economic. The purpose of this randomised comparative study was to investigate the influence of feeding milk containing S. aureus genotype B (SAGTB) on the health and development of calves and udder health of the respective heifers. Additionally, a method reducing the bacterial load to obtain safer feeding milk was tested. Thirty-four calves were fed mastitis milk from cows with subclinical SAGTB mastitis. One group was fed untreated milk (UMG). For the other group, milk was thermised at 61°C for one minute (heat treated milk group = HMG). After weaning, calves were followed up until first calving. A milk sample of these heifers was taken at first milking to compare udder health of both groups. Results: Thermisation of milk led to an effective reduction of S. aureus in the feeding milk. 78% of the analysed pools were free of S. aureus, a reduction of at least one log was obtained in the other pools. Quarter milk samples revealed that two heifers had a S. aureus intramammary infection, but caused by a genotype different from genotype B. During the suckling period, the UMG had a significantly higher incidence rate of 1.09 diarrhoea cases per 100 calf days at risk compared to 0.26 cases per 100 calf days in the HMG (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Under the conditions of this study, no effects of feeding milk containing SAGTB on udder health after first calving were observed. But a power analysis indicated that the sample size in the current setup is insufficient to allow for assessment on mastitis risk after SAGTB exposition, as a minimal number of 4 calves infected (vs. 0 in the HMG) would have shown significant effects. High bacterial load, however, was associated with an increased incidence rate of diarrhoea. Thus, thermisation as a minimal preventive measure before feeding mastitis milk to calves might be beneficial for maintaining calf health. © 2014 Abb-Schwedler et al.

Schader C.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Muller A.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Muller A.,ETH Zurich | El-Hage Scialabba N.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO | And 11 more authors.
Journal of the Royal Society Interface | Year: 2015

Increasing efficiency in livestock production and reducing the share of animal products in human consumption are two strategies to curb the adverse environmental impacts of the livestock sector. Here,we explore the roomfor sustainable livestock production by modelling the impacts and constraints of a third strategy in which livestock feed components that compete with direct human food crop production are reduced. Thus, in the outmost scenario, animals are fed only from grassland and by-products from food production. We show that this strategy could provide sufficient food (equal amounts of human-digestible energy and a similar protein/calorie ratio as in the reference scenario for 2050) and reduce environmental impacts comparedwith the reference scenario (in the most extreme case of zero human-edible concentrate feed: greenhouse gas emissions 218%; arable land occupation 226%, N-surplus 246%; P-surplus 240%; non-renewable energy use 236%, pesticide use intensity 222%, freshwater use 221%, soil erosion potential 212%). These results occur despite the fact that environmental efficiency of livestock production is reduced compared with the reference scenario, which is the consequence of the grassland-based feed for ruminants and the less optimal feeding rations based on by-products for non-ruminants. This apparent contradiction results from considerable reductions of animal products in human diets (protein intake per capita from livestock products reduced by 71%). We show that such a strategy focusing on feed components which do not compete with direct human food consumption offers a viable complement to strategies focusing on increased efficiency in production or reduced shares of animal products in consumption. © 2015 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

Majewsky V.,University of Bern | Majewsky V.,Free University of Berlin | Majewsky V.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Scherr C.,University of Bern | And 10 more authors.
Homeopathy | Year: 2014

Background: Reproducibility of basic research investigations in homeopathy is challenging. This study investigated if formerly observed effects of homeopathically potentised gibberellic acid (GA3) on growth of duckweed (Lemna gibba L.) were reproducible. Methods: Duckweed was grown in potencies (14x-30x) of GA3and one time succussed and unsuccussed water controls. Outcome parameter area-related growth rate was determined by a computerised image analysis system. Three series including five independent blinded and randomised potency experiments (PE) each were carried out. System stability was controlled by three series of five systematic negative control (SNC) experiments. Gibbosity (a specific growth state of L. gibba) was investigated as possibly essential factor for reactivity of L. gibba towards potentised GA3 in one series of potency and SNC experiments, respectively. Results: Only in the third series with gibbous L. gibba L. we observed a significant effect (p=0.009, F-test) of the homeopathic treatment. However, growth rate increased in contrast to the former study, and most biologically active potency levels differed. Variability in PE was lower than in SNC experiments. The stability of the experimental system was verified by the SNC experiments. Conclusions: Gibbosity seems to be a necessary condition for reactivity of L. gibba to potentised GA3. Further still unknown conditions seem to govern effect direction and the pattern of active and inactive potency levels. When designing new reproducibility studies, the physiological state of the test organism must be considered. Variability might be an interesting parameter to investigate effects of homeopathic remedies in basic research. © 2014 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Ivemeyer S.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Walkenhorst M.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Holinger M.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Maeschli A.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | And 7 more authors.
Livestock Science | Year: 2014

This intervention study investigated the effect of farm specific concentrate amounts and concentrate feeding reduction over two years on herd health and production in 69 organic dairy herds considering further feeding management factors and herd characteristics. All farms were participating in the Swiss 'Feed no Food' project and decided for themselves the extent of the reduction they desired in concentrate feeding amounts. The average concentrate amount fed before project start was 363. kg/cow/year. The maximum amount of concentrate was 10% of the yearly dry matter intake, according to the Swiss organic 'Bio Suisse' standards. Health and production data were calculated at farm level from milk recording data. Somatic cell score (SCS) and calving interval (CI) were used as indicators for udder health and fertility, respectively. Medicine use was assessed as the total number of veterinary treatments (TM) generated from obligatory farm records. Milk recording data and treatment data were collected retrospectively for a one-year period before and during the two year project period. Concentrate amounts, feeding management factors, and herd characteristics were assessed by questionnaires. The intervention was performed as an advising process regarding feeding and herd health during quarterly farm visits and regular contacts with the farmers after receiving new milk recording data. General linear models for repeated measurements were used to analyse the development at farm level. A significant reduction in concentrate feeding, to an average concentrate amount of 276. kg/cow/year, was achieved within the project period. Milk yield and TM incidences were higher and CIs were longer if more concentrates were fed in general, but these parameters were not related to a reduction in concentrate feeding within the project years. The total amount and the reduction in concentrate feeding within the project showed no association with SCS. Within breeds, Holstein Friesians had the highest milk yield, and Swiss Brown Cattle had the highest incidences of TM compared to the other breeds. Larger herds showed higher SCSs and lower CIs. Herds with mostly or entirely bought-in replacement heifers had higher SCS. Herds with more own replacement heifers than bought-in heifers showed lower CIs than herds with entirely own young stock or entirely bought-in replacement heifers. Regarding feeding management, maize as a component of the roughage ration was significantly related to a higher milk yield. In summary, under Swiss roughage based dairy production conditions, a reduction in concentrate use was achieved after a two year intervention study, compared to the year before project start, without significant losses in milk yield, health and fertility status. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Bludau M.J.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Maeschli A.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Leiber F.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Steiner A.,University of Bern | And 2 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2014

Poor udder health represents a serious problem in dairy production and has been investigated intensively, but heifers generally have not been the main focus of mastitis control. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence, risk factors and consequences of heifer mastitis in Switzerland. The study included 166,518 heifers of different breeds (Swiss Red Pied, Swiss Brown Cattle and Holstein). Monthly somatic cell counts (SCCs) provided by the main dairy breeding organisations in Switzerland were monitored for 3 years; the prevalence of subclinical mastitis (SCM) was determined on the basis of SCCs-≥100,000-cells/mL at the first test date. The probability of having SCM at the first test date during lactation was modelled using logistic regression. Analysed factors included data for the genetic background, morphological traits, geographical region, season of parturition and milk composition. The overall prevalence of SCM in heifers during the period from 2006 to 2010 was 20.6%. Higher frequencies of SCM were present in heifers of the Holstein breed (odds ratio, OR, 1.62), heifers with high fat:protein ratios (OR 1.97) and heifers with low milk urea concentrations combined with high milk protein concentrations (OR 3.97). Traits associated with a low risk of SCM were high set udders, high overall breeding values and low milk breeding values. Heifers with SCM on the first test day had a higher risk of either developing chronic mastitis or leaving the herd prematurely. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Bludau M.J.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Maeschli A.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Leiber F.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Klocke P.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | And 4 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2016

Healthy replacement heifers are one of the foundations of a healthy dairy herd. Farm management and rearing systems in Switzerland provide a wide variety of factors that could potentially be associated with intramammary infections (IMI) in early lactating dairy heifers. In this study, IMI with minor mastitis pathogens such as coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS), contagious pathogens, and environmental major pathogens were identified. Fifty-four dairy farms were enrolled in the study. A questionnaire was used to collect herd level data on housing, management and welfare of young stock during farm visits and interviews with the farmers. Cow-level data such as breed, age at first calving, udder condition and swelling, and calving ease were also recorded. Data was also collected about young stock that spent a period of at least 3 months on an external rearing farm or on a seasonal alpine farm. At the quarter level, teat conditions such as teat lesions, teat dysfunction, presence of a papilloma and teat length were recorded. Within 24 h after parturition, samples of colostral milk from 1564 quarters (391 heifers) were collected aseptically for bacterial culture. Positive bacteriological culture results were found in 49% of quarter samples. Potential risk factors for IMI were identified at the quarter, animal and herd level using multivariable and multilevel logistic regression analysis. At the herd level tie-stalls, and at cow-level the breed category "Brown cattle" were risk factors for IMI caused by contagious major pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). At the quarter-level, teat swelling and teat lesions were highly associated with IMI caused by environmental major pathogens. At the herd level heifer rearing at external farms was associated with less IMI caused by major environmental pathogens. Keeping pregnant heifers in a separate group was negatively associated with IMI caused by CNS. The odds of IMI with coagulase-negative staphylococci increased if weaning age was less than 4 months and if concentrates were fed to calves younger than 2 weeks. This study identified herd, cow- and quarter-level risk factors that may be important for IMI prevention in the future. © 2016 The Author(s).

Stalder U.,University of Zürich | Stephan R.,University of Zürich | Corti S.,University of Zürich | Bludau M.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2014

In heifers, intramammary infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus affect milk production and udder health in the first and subsequent lactations, and can lead to premature culling. Not much is known about Staph. aureus isolated from heifers and it is also unclear whether or not these strains are readily transmitted between heifers and lactating herd mates. In this study, we compared phenotypic characteristics, spa types, and DNA microarray virulence and resistance gene profiles of Staph. aureus isolates obtained from colostrum samples of dairy heifers with isolates obtained from lactating cows. Our objective was to (1) characterize Staph. aureus strains associated with mastitis in heifers and (2) determine relatedness of Staph. aureus strains from heifers and lactating cows to provide data on transmission. We analyzed colostrum samples of 501 heifers and milk samples of 68 lactating cows within the same herd, isolating 48 and 9 Staph. aureus isolates, respectively. Staphylococcus aureus strains from heifers, lactating herd mates, and an unrelated collection of 78 strains from bovine mastitis milk of mature cows were compared. With 1 exception each, characterization of all strains from heifers and lactating cows in the same herd yielded highly similar phenotypic and genotypic results. The strains were Staphaurex latex agglutination test negative (Oxoid AG, Basel, Switzerland) and belonged to agr type II, CC705, and spa types tbl 2645 and t12926. They were susceptible to all antimicrobial agents tested. In contrast, the strains from mature cows in other herds were spread across different clonal complexes, spa types, and SplitsTree clusters (, thus displaying a far higher degree of heterogeneity. We conclude that strains isolated from colostrum of heifers and mastitis milk of lactating cows in the same herd feature highly similar phenotypic and genomic characteristics, suggesting persistence of the organism during the first and potentially subsequent lactations or transmission between heifers and mature herd mates. © 2014 American Dairy Science Association.

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