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Veterinary Ireland
elect new President
Last month, Veterinary Ireland held their annual AGM in
The organisation launched a new initiative ` Vet Support
Ireland ` which helps to support vets, vet nurses and
lay sta in their mental wellness. This according to the
organisation is an addition to the existing Veterinary
Assistance programme o ered by Veterinary Ireland. The
conference was opened by Minister Andrew Doyle, and
the speakers included vets David MacGuinness (outgoing
Veterinary Ireland President), Conor Geraghty (incoming
President), David McKeown, CEO VDS, Mary Newman,
Tommy He ernan , and business journalist Lorcan Allen.
The AGM of Veterinary Ireland also saw the formal
handover of the chain of o ce from outgoing Veterinary
Ireland President, David Mac Guinness, , to incoming
President Conor Geraghty , who runs a large animal
and equine practice in Mountbellew, Co. Galway. Conor
Geraghty has held a number of key roles with Veterinary
Ireland, including Chairing of Veterinary Ireland's Food
Animal Group and the Cattle Association of Veterinary
Ireland (CAVI).
Dry cows are not as
unproductive as you think
Cathal Bohane, head of InTouch Nutrition
Most farms around the country will be drying o cows at
this time of year in preparation for the spring calving period.
This gives the cows and the farmer a chance of rest and
recuperate from the previous season and prepare for the
beginning of the new one, which can be particularly gruelling,
especially seeing as farms have focused on more compact
calving. While the dry cow is unproductive, how we manage
this animal in this phase will go a long way in determining
how productive the cow will be in lactation or, in extreme
circumstances, whether the cows makes it or not. Metabolic
issues, calving di culty, body condition, negative energy
balance and dry matter intake (DMI) can all be infl uenced by
what we do over the next eight weeks or so. Success in the
past, based on previous dry cow management and diets, is no
guarantee of success now, so should be reviewed based on
this year's silages and setup.
If you adhere to the four pillars that were outlined in previous
articles, then you can take control over it. These are:
Body Condition Score (BCS)
Body condition score, as discussed in previous articles, is the
cornerstone of any system. Minimising change in the score
for the full lactation and dry period will, outside of its positive
or negative e ects, reduce cost on-farm. Drying o the cows
in BCS 3­3.25 and maintaining them during the dry period
is vital. Analysing your silage is the fi rst step in nutrition, and
you should aim to base your diet around a maintenance diet.
Monitoring DMI is the next step on this diet. This is the fi rst
area we would look at if we come across issues, as opposed
to the diet spec or the mineral spec, etc. Cows on an ad lib
silage diet will eat more than advice will tell you. While they
are allocated 11kg of DM, dry cows will eat 20­30% more
than this. Herein lie the issues, whereby they will put on a lot
of condition, predisposing them to more challenges.
Adding minerals in every dry cow diet is a given and not up
for debate. But, the minerals we use should be discussed.
The use of organic minerals, like Sel-Plex® and Bioplex®,
has several positive e ects, like supporting immune function,
maintaining overall health issues and counteracting the
elements that `lock up' minerals, such as molybdenum, so the
animals get full use of them. This also means we can feed less
of them and, thus, in an era where environmental impact is
increasingly becoming more of an issue, we have less waste.
Finally, management can be the elephant in the room when
we come across problems. Feed space and lying space,
availability of water and feed, animal movement and feed
quality, to name but a few, can all lead to stress in the animal,
which might seem small and irrelevant, but underpins a good
dry cow
Outgoing Veterinary Ireland President Dr. David MacGuinness MVB
MRCVS, and incoming President Conor Geraghty MVB CertDHH
Timothy O'Connell, Kanturk Mart Auctioneer and a fi nalist in the recent
AXA Farm Hero competition, presenting Rickie Healy's family with the
heifer purchased with the AXA Farm hero funds. The Pedigree Limousin
Heifer is named AXA Farm Hero The First.
Meet AXA Farm Hero The First