Keeping the momentum of antibiotic reduction
In addition to supporting and encouraging farmers through improvements in farm management, husbandry and nutrition, Molecare has been trialling the use of feed and nutritional supplements as part of preventative healthcare protocols. Supplements, which have long been used in humans, can also be used in the farming industry to support immune systems and provide additional nutritional benefits to livestock.
Quorum sensing inhibitors
Recently we have been working in collaboration with Animal Health Vision (AHV) and have introduced their supplementary products to clients to aid the reduction of antibiotics. AHV pride themselves on delivering innovative solutions and have focused their work on the powers of Quorum Sensing inhibitors and bacterial communication. In short, Quorum Sensing describes a bacteria’s ability to sense and ‘communicate’ with other bacteria in the vicinity. Quorum Sensing inhibitors work by preventing this communication between bacteria, thus allowing the immune system to protect the health of the animal.
We started to introduce these feed supplements to cows that had either high somatic cell counts (SCC) or clots in their milk in June last year. Our team of veterinary surgeons have been pleased with the product’s ability to support cows with mastitis and it has been interesting to see its capabilities as an alternative solution.
It seems to help cows cope better with high somatic cell counts (SCC) and clots, which could help them recover quicker from infection, without the use of antibiotics.
Clients have reported that because milk is being rejected from less cows, concerns about bulk tank contamination have decreased. This has reduced milking times and freed up more time to look after the herd.
However, it is important to note that we do not expect these products to work on all farms. Antibiotics will inevitably continue to have their place in acute clinical scenarios and milk sampling and pathogen diagnosis are important practices that should continue.
In addition to udder health feed supplements, we are also beginning to trial some calf products that help prevent calves from developing scours and respiratory infections which are easy to use and for which the early results are promising.
For more information on any of the above, and to discuss the reduction of antibiotics on your farm, please email [email protected]