Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, manufacturer of Bovikalc® and Bovikalc® Dry, has launched its National Milk Fever (hypocalcaemia) Survey to capture the opinions of farmers and their on-farm experiences of the condition. Farmers are being encouraged to share their knowledge to fill in some of the gaps that still exist on the impact of milk fever – both clinical and subclinical. Any farmer who hasn’t already received a survey form can request one from their Boehringer Ingelheim Territory Manager or complete the survey online at https://bovikalc.typeform.com/to/jVGllV. There will also be a prize draw from completed entries with 20 winners receiving Bovikalc® metal applicators, outers or gilets.
The survey will seek to assess the scale of the hypocalcaemia problem on dairy and beef farms as well as look at the impact it has on the farm and productivity. Milk fever is currently thought to affect between 4-9% of the UK’s dairy cows, with the subclinical form affecting up to 39%.1,2 The survey will provide another up to date figure to compare with existing data and look at any regional trends that might exist. Farmers are encouraged to complete the survey regardless of whether they believe milk fever is an issue on their farm or not.
Bovikalc® Brand Manager, Mathieu Maignan says, “We are really keen to find out about the real-life experience of milk fever and what really matters to farmers so that we can use this knowledge to improve the approach to managing the condition. Milk fever can result in significant losses and has a big impact to animal welfare. Finding out what aspect is of most concern and the strategies farmers currently use will help us support them more effectively.”
Kath Aplin, Veterinary Adviser at Boehringer Ingelheim, is hoping to find out more about the recognition of the signs of subclinical milk fever in particular. She explains, “Milk fever is not always well recognised as a predisposing factor in a number of conditions associated around transition, in particular. It will be really interesting to see if farmers feel there is a connection between those conditions and low calcium levels and how this affects which animals they target with calcium supplementation and other interventions.”
The survey is live and available for completion now at https://bovikalc.typeform.com/to/jVGllV and will run until 31st August 2019. The results will be shared with the farming and veterinary community alongside any insights gained into ways to improve the approach to milk fever.