A NEW milk fever (hypocalcaemia) survey has been launched to capture the opinions of farmers and their on-farm experiences of the condition.

The survey, launched by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, is encouraging farmers to share their knowledge in order to fill in some of the gaps that still exist on both the clinical and sub-clinical impact of milk fever.

The survey will seek to assess the scale of the hypocalcaemia problem on dairy and beef farms as well as look at the impact it has on the farm and productivity. Milk fever is currently thought to affect between four and nine per cent of the UK’s dairy cows, with the sub-clinical form affecting up to 39 per cent.

The survey will provide another up to date figure to compare with existing data and look at any regional trends that might exist. Farmers are encouraged to complete the survey regardless of whether they believe milk fever is an issue on their farm or not.

Bovikalc® brand manager Mathieu Maignan said: “We are really keen to find out about the real-life experience of milk fever and what really matters to farmers so that we can use this knowledge to improve the approach to managing the condition. "Milk fever can result in significant losses and has a big impact to animal welfare. Finding out what aspect is of most concern and the strategies farmers currently use will help us support them more effectively.”

Kath Aplin, veterinary adviser at Boehringer Ingelheim, is hoping that the survey will enable the company to find out more about the recognition of the signs of subclinical milk fever in particular.

She said: “Milk fever is not always well recognised as a predisposing factor in a number of conditions associated around transition, in particular.

"It will be really interesting to see if farmers feel there is a connection between those conditions and low calcium levels and how this affects which animals they target with calcium supplementation and other interventions.”

The survey will run until 31 August. The results will be shared with the farming and veterinary community alongside any insights gained into ways to improve the approach to milk fever.

Any farmer who hasn’t already received a survey form can request one from their Boehringer Ingelheim Territory Manager or complete the survey


. There will be a prize draw from completed entries.