Traditionally, the dairy industry has focused on proper nutrition and management practices to prevent disease. Another method that is gaining popularity is the use of genetics to select for healthier cows with naturally superior immune responses to minimize occurrence of disease. This type of approach has worked for rodents, poultry and swine, writes Heather Dann in the September issue of the Miner Institute Farm Report.

In the article, she discusses a patented test developed by researchers in the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College. The test is used to identify cows and calves with an enhanced immune responsiveness or high immune responders (HIR).

Read Reduce sick cows by breeding for optimal immunity

Source: September 2012 Farm Report, W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute