Animal health

Priorities and how to achieve them

Specific Pathogen Free

HapCo.farms will be Specific Pathogen Free. In the startup period of HapCo.farms, we will have at least 2 quarantine periods of 30 days with a double check of the following pathogens: Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR), Bovine Viral Diarrhea  (BVD), Neospora caninum, Mycobacterium avium subspecies Paratuberculosis, Mycoplasma bovis, brucellosis, Mouth-and-Claw disease and tuberculosis.

How to create a Specific Pathogen Free farm?

Around the whole farm we have 3 double fences. Staff and visitors have to go through a hygienic lock, and after a shower, they need to wear farm clothing.

There is a hygiene and biosecurity manual and checklist, which will be checked by the biosecurity managers on a daily basis through visual inspection. Once a month this manager will take hygienograms on the critical control points.

The nursery is completely separated from the farm, with specific manuals and checklists for hygiene and biosecurity.

The level of the pen floors and the walking areas for animals (contaminated) are 15 cm lower than the machinery alleys and the cow-feed alleys (clean). There are bridges at the crossroads between the contaminated and clean roads, so there is never contact between the wheels of the machinery and the manure.

Immunity

Only animals with a Metabolic Equilibrium have an optimal functioning immunity system. In every production group blood samples will be taken of 10 healthy animals on a monthly base. We analyze 25 parameters in the pooled sera. The interpretation is based on the research of Prof. Van Saun (Pennstate University). With this metabolic profile it is possible to fine-tune the feed rations.

Effective immune system obtained thanks to global animal equilibrium allows to reach highest protection level after vaccination

Monitoring the milk

By controlling the bulk tank with PCR, we can evaluate the milking protocols, the hygiene of the milking parlour and the hygiene of the beddings for the cows.

Physical exercise

In the HapCo.farm concept we have, of course, taken into account that cows need exercise. The natural behavior of a cow on pasture is to walk 2 kilometers a day. The distance and the frequency of the walkings depend on the stage of lactation.

Next to the animal welfare issue, this is also of extreme importance for animal health. Physical exercise helps to prevent fattening of the cows with reduced liver fattening and ketosis as end result. Exercise has also a positive effect on the parturition of cows and heifers. During exercise, heat and locomotion disorders can be observed in an early stage.

All the gathered data (visual observations, herd management data and lab reports) are stored on one digital platform. The herd manager (veterinarian) can go through all this data and can adjust the protocols if necessary.