On some farms, we see missed opportunities in the name of reducing veterinary expense. Ask us what we should be doing. Often, there is an area on the farm that we can help and it is being overlooked. Likewise, there are things I do on farms that I should not be doing. I can train employees or owners to do some of these things, and this money could be put to better use hiring me to do something else.
Can you evaluate my facilities and cow comfort?
This should be done on a routine basis on the farm. Have your veterinarian walk the entire farm and ask him or her for suggestions on what needs to change to improve animal comfort. A comfortable animal is a healthy and productive animal. It is our duty to design facilities and handle animals so that they can live a comfortable life. Too often, we see facilities in need of an update that are causing injury and lameness to animals. Ask your veterinarian for an assessment of the comfort of your animals.
Consider what questions you want your veterinarian to answer for you. Ask us and expect an honest assessment.
Some of the biggest improvements I have seen on dairy farms were after a critical assessment. I always tell people that if they ask me a question, they are going to get an honest answer — even if they don’t want to hear it. Be prepared to ask your questions and be prepared to work with your veterinarian to improve your farm for future success.