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Farm Animal Practice
Optimising health, productivity and welfare of dairy cattle: on-farm nutrition
  1. Jon Huxley

    Jon Huxley was born and bred on a dairy farm in north Wales. He graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 1995. After a year as farm animal house officer at Bristol veterinary school, he spent three years in farm animal practice in Wrexham. He returned to Bristol in 1999 to undertake a PhD on bovine mastitis which he completed in 2003. He is currently lecturer in farm animal production medicine at Bristol where he divides his time equally between research and clinical work within the university's farm animal practice. He holds the RCVS certificate in cattle health and production.


AS financial pressures within the farming sector increase, the role of the veterinary surgeon on the modern dairy and beef farm is shifting more and more towards preventive medicine and herd health planning. It is becoming particularly important to have at least a working understanding of practical and applied bovine nutrition and its affect on animals on the farm. Many practitioners nowadays attend regular meetings with the farm nutritionist and a good grasp of nutritional principles is an advantage. Practitioners are also expected to identify and flag up any problems or interactions between the health, productivity and welfare of animals and their diet. This article discusses the underlying principles of bovine nutrition and describes how nutritional status may be assessed.

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