Just Milk travels to Europe to learn about best practices in dairy farming

Milking Procedure on a typical Just Milk farm
April 23, 2019
Ida Development
May 9, 2019

At Just Milk we aim to grow through and with our people. To do this, it is important for us to provide them with the best learning opportunities available. Recently, member of our management team had the opportunity to travel to Europe with one of our key suppliers, Lionel’s Veterinary Services, to learn about best practices in European dairy farming and better understand the manufacturing process of various products we use on our farms.

Two members of our team, Yandisa Zindlani and Sinoxolo Blou, share some feedback from their experience.

We would like to share our experience on the trip we took to Europe with Lionels Veterinary Service. As it has been an eye opener to us and it was quite an experience.

Day 1

We visited Nutrifeed Friesland Campina which produces our milk replacer and electrolytes  which includes

  • Kalvolac power
  • Kalvolac Cair
  • Kalvolac
  • Nutrifizz

They advised us on the importance of looking after our dry cow on their dry period by giving them a balanced ration, enough space, stress free environment and good mineral supply.

In their talk about their milk replacer they also advised us on colostrum feeding to ensure that all calves get a good start to life through adequate transfer of passive immunity.

Colostrum management 3QS

QUALITY: provide good quality colostrums by measuring with reflectometre or colostrometer

QUANTITY: ensure calves ingest sufficient antibodies

QUICKLY: The timing of the first feed to ensure efficient absorption of the antibodies into the blood e.g give the calves colostrum within 2hours after birth and consider stomach tubing if they don’t drink from the bottle.

Based on the different milk replacers for calves we saw that Kalvolac Cair would be more beneficial for our winter calves as it contains the following

  • Mix herbs and essential oils
  • Support respiratory health: reduces coughing

Easy breathing

  • Higher concentrate intake.

They took us to one of the farms close by which milks about 100 Holstein cows and with a few calves weighing an average birth weight of 53 kgs.

What we have learnt on the farm is that they are feeding their calves chopped wheat straw with pellet when they are 3 days old for rumen development.

They are putting balls and dummy teats for the purpose of entertaining them from sucking each other’s navels.

Day 2

Intra care

Which focuses on hygiene and bio security

They have three programmes:

  • Disinfection programme: focuses on reducing pathogenic bacteria, yeast, fungi and viruses.
  • Nutritional supplements programme: focuses on boosting immune system of animals.
  • Veterinary medicinal products programme: antibiotic-free veterinary medicinal products.

Went to their factory where they showed us how their products work and took us to a farm where the was a hoof trimmer trimming cows.

We were very impressed with their hoof spray and thinking of fitting it in on our hoof care programmes in our farms.

Intra Hoof-fit Spray

  • Ready to use
  • Each hoof gets product uncontaminated
  • Safe to use
  • Early lameness detection
  • Free of antibiotic

Day 3


They took us to two farms raising 1500 and 2000 bull calves

They get them at 2 weeks of age and fatten them for meat and sell them before the age of 8 months.

They are using the automatic feeder so that they get adlib milk.


2 weeks: pellets mixed with chopped straw and molasses licks

7 weeks: chopped straw, silage and boiled potatoes

Adequate calf house ventilation is vital to promote the growth of healthy calves. Successful calf house ventilation helps to reduce the risk of pneumonia outbreaks and increases overall calf comfort.

Day 4


Visited their labs and factory which  gave us more info on their products.

Cleanliness should be treasured at all times.

They gave us a talk on Mastitis on the farm and mentioned the different types of bacteria that affect our dairy cows which are environmental and contagious.

Hygiene on the dairy farm is essential to prevent several diseases, of which Mastitis is probably one the most threatening for both cattle health and farm cow income.

To the people who took their time to send us to the tour we are forever grateful. It was a life time experience and it was nice to meet people with the same passion as us about the well being of cows and calves

Special thanks to LIONELS VETERINARY SERVICE and Jannic Zietsman

We have learned a lot

Written by Yandisa Zindlani and Sinoxolo Blou