March Focus
March 2024


  • Facial eczema season is upon us – you should be supplementing the herd with zinc. Water treatment is VERY hit and miss – zinc oxide drenching or in-feed supplementation is the way to go. It’s a great idea to check that your supplementation programme is working by blood testing 15 cows.
  • Any cows with facial eczema need shade, zinc cream and a painkiller – if they’re bad, dry them off too to give their livers a rest!
  • RVM, milk quality, and animal health plan consults will be starting soon. This year, we’ll be asking anyone buying dry cow or teatseal to sign a consent form, irrespective of whether you’re inserting it yourself or getting us to do it. This is a new legal requirement for our insurance.
  • Fonterra Co-operative Difference Animal Wellbeing Plan – In most instances these can be done with your RVM consult. If you have done this in previous years, the process should simply be a matter of updating last year’s plan, unless you have made fundamental changes.
  • Herd Lepto vaccinations are beginning. If fitting it in before dry-off is important for you, please book it in soon.
  • Cull Cow mineral check on livers – Don’t forget that if you are sending cull cows to the works, you can request mineral liver checks. A minimum of five cows is needed to get a representative sample and a meaningful result.  Remember to send the completed form with the cows on the truck.
  • Balance your maize – remember to add the right amounts of calcium, magnesium and salt to your maize being fed to milkers. Call us if you need help working it out, or talk to us about the Vetora Maize Balancer.
  • Dry off light conditioned early calvers so they have enough time to put weight on before calving. It’s poor economy to milk them to the bitter end and have them calve light next season!


  • End of pregnancy testing – review any high rates & perform testing to find out & fix any problems before next year.
  • Keep the feed up, and contact graziers to have a plan to buy in extra to keep them growing if feed is short – make sure they come home big and beautiful.
  • Lepto boost as required to tie in with the herd’s annual vaccinations.
  • Autumn Drench – worm numbers have been fairly low with the dry summer, but now that the rain has come we can expect a worm explosion!


  • Autumn calves due for disbudding soon – as well as BVD/DNA testing & 5 in 1 vaccination. Book in now & plan to do it together if needed, as it’s often easier while they’re asleep!
  • Keep up with the Autumn Drenching, as per your R2’s.
  • Top up any Zinc Boluses as needed (you’ll have got 6 weeks out of the first Faceguard).
  • Ensure calves are well-fed to keep up the growth rates.

We are looking forward to catching up with everyone soon during RVM consults!