At the 2023 National Ploughing Championships, Irish dairy farmers wanted to know more about Thermoduric bacteria and their economic impact.
If milk or milk products are contaminated by thermoduric bacteria on farm, then there are consequences for the whole food chain. These bacteria spoil milk products. Usually, if milk becomes contaminated by bacteria on farm, the process of pasteurisation by processors can eliminate the contamination and prolong the shelf life of the milk or milk products. Thermoduric bacteria, like Streptococcus, Lactobacillus, Corynebacterium, Microbacterium, Micrococcus, Alcaligenes, can all survive the process of pasteurisation which can greatly reduce shelf life and food safety. These bacteria are all too present in the cows environment. They occur in slurry, silage, bedding, and compacted soil. The use of disinfectant to control them being futile as sterile environments are almost impossible to achieve and harder still to maintain in agricultural conditions.
The problem becomes magnified when milk fat and protein fuel the buildup of biofilm within milking plants especially in aged, perished rubberware.
Our research work looking at ways to reverse antimicrobial resistance on farms enabled us at the ploughing event to transfer the knowledge needed by Irish farmers to reduce the risks of their milk being contaminated by thermoduric bacteria. We were able to discuss ways of managing the cows’ environments and ways of maintaining clean milking plants without using chemicals.
Tara Lawrence, pictured, states that “If farmers are struggling with thermoduric contamination of their milk, we can help. I can visit the farm to collect swabs, the results of which allows us to devise a farm specific programme where we replace problematic bacteria in the cows environment with non thermaduric, non problematic bacteria”.
This strategy has already proved it’s worth on parlour and robot milking systems throughout Ireland.
Pruex offer this service in the UK as well. Click here to book a consultation, or call 01558509025 for further information.
On the 12th May the IOD Wales held their annual Director of the Year Awards in celebration of the talented and successful directors across all industry sectors, and the winner of the Innovation Director of the Year was none other than our very own Aled Davies, director and founder of Pruex Ltd. Aled wanted to thank Nuffield Farming, as well as his colleagues at Pruex and his family for all their ongoing support. Pruex extends its warmest congratulations to all the other winners and finalists.
When asked about the importance of the award, Aled said:
"Nuffield taught me that every business has more than one leader. I'm delighted that the staff at Pruex are taking ownership of the different aspects of running the business. Our customers are an extended family and we all enjoy working with them".
The dominant display of talented female directors was something to celebrate.
But one female was robbed of her recognition - condolences to Poppy the horse who was cropped out the mugshot photo.
Sometimes in business, especially when you're busy, you forget how important customer feedback is. On Instagram today, we were tagged into a video post that a customer had generated. Our aim in business is to ensure prudent as opposed to excessive antibiotic use, hence our name PruEx. In this video, the Ford Family from Nempnett Pastures tell the story of using Quietwean tags to reduce the need for antibiotics at weaning. It's a great piece of work. The cattle look well. The lack of noise from the calves post weaning speaks volumes for the simplicity and efficacy of the product.
We would like to thank the Ford family for their custom and feedback.
Keeping animals healthy during housed periods can be difficult, with farmers tending to notice health issues towards the last third of the housed period. Supplying a dry bed, clean air and water for animals are critical. At Pruex, we work with farmers to ensure they can provide such basic environments for their livestock.
Farmers know that if their animals aren't drinking aggressively like these in the video that the water they are providing their animals is putrid. Animals drinking putrid water are more likely to get sick and require antibiotic treatment. Pruex work with farmers to ensure Prudent as opposed to excessive antibiotic use.
"The team at Pruex would like to thank our fantastic customers and those that have sent video, texts, emails, letters or have called to congratulate us on winning the Agri Epi Centre award for UK Innovation. We continue to learn with you all how to keep animals healthy and by doing so, reduce the need for antibiotics. Diolch yn Fawr." Aled Rhys Davies, founder.
Agri-EPI Centre’s agri-tech awards champions agri-tech innovators that have made a significant sustainable impact on-farm between January 2019- March 2021.
On the 19th August a group of poultry farmers gathered at Wern Farm, near Welshpool to discuss ammonia and admire extremely dry chicken litter stored in the farm’s muck shed!
Kindly hosted by Osian Williams and family, with the support of Farming Connect, Pruex have been working with the farm to autonomize the application of non-infective bacteria within Osians layer sheds.
The use of smoke bombs allows us to visualise air flow within the two 16,000 bird multi- tiered sheds and best place sprayer units. Pruex bacteria is sprayed throughout the shed, adding nature back into industrialized agriculture to provide a healthier environment for the hens and the staff.
Pruex bacteria dry up the chicken litter and testing has revealed that moisture content in the muck on the belts has reduced by over 50% since Pruex bacteria has been applied. This has resulted in the frequency of mucking out of the manure belts being slashed from every three days to once a fortnight, reducing labour requirements by more than 75%.
Alongside drying up litter, ammonia levels have been reduced inside the building and the stored muck; a huge potential for tackling NVZ policies. Air quality is improved within the sheds for birds and staff, alongside the health benefits of reduced risk of disease bacteria dominating. At Wern, mortality has reduced by over 1% and there has been no requirement for antibiotics in the flock. Egg production has been optimised, saving £12,000 per flock, and feed requirements have reduced without losing production, leading to further cost savings.
Pruex’s automated spraying systems are increasing in popularity amongst farmers across the UK and have recently led them to being awarded Agri-Epi’s prestigious Agri-Tech Excellence award 2021.
To get started with a new farm, Pruex undertake an initial swabbing to identify the disease challenge on individual farms. If you are interested in getting started with Pruex and finding out the benefits of a Pruex system in your shed, please call 01558 509025.
Having conducted two years commercial research work part funded by the the Government through ERDF via the Cornwall Development Company part of Cornwall Council, we have observed fantastic results in cleanliness of udders, feet and bedding. Infections of udders and feet as a result over our R&D period were seen to decrease.
Our cleaning process doesn’t involve disinfectant, antiseptic or antibiotics all of which aim to kill bacteria and can contribute to Antimicrobial resistance, AMR. The problem being that the newly cleaned surface quickly get repopulated often with the infective bugs that dominate the area. It’s impossible to keep a wound like the ones in the image sterile on commercial dairy farms. We need an innovative strategy, one which Pruex have developed in order to reduce stress on the suffering animal so that her own immune system is maintained at an efficient and effective level. That doesn’t mean that the immune system is improved, it means that the cow faces less challenges in her environment so that her immune system is less likely to collapse allowing the infection to flourish.
If you have cows with similar infections then we need to talk. Our office number is +441558509025
Cow and Calf Health – Calving Strategies to limit the threat of infections.
Three hygiene and husbandry questions answered by Sarah Dusgate of Pruex Ltd.
Can calves born indoors ever be as healthy as those born outside in pastures that aren’t over stocked?
Yes they can, as long as our hygiene protocols ensure they are delivered into an environment that is as close as possible to nature. In other words, the bacteria that populates their skin and that of their mothers’ udder, originating from the bedding isn’t dominated by fecal, potentially pathogenic microorganisms. This resembles what they would get populated by if they landed on soil or pasture. Out in a clean, well-drained field, the bacteria present in the soil would not pose a great infection threat to the young calf. An over stocked calving pen, despite ample bedding would be dominated by fecal, potentially pathogenic bacteria, and if wet, could very well be harboring high levels of unicellular protozoa like Cryptosporidium. (Crypto)
Ventilation is often a concern when calving indoors, but the quality of air for cow and calf is determined by their bedding. Fecal bacteria make ammonia from the urea and uric acid in bedding. As we all know, colostrum is gold. Farmers will often concentrate on dry cow diets, but tend to ignore water quality. You can’t optimize colostrum quality if fecal bacteria dominate the water available for the cows to drink.
At Pruex, we work with farmers to measure their calving environments. If they are measured, then they can be managed. We introduce soil bacteria into these environments.
A daily spray of Pruex Stabiliser bacteria to bedding reduces the production of ammonia and dries up the bedding. This changes the domination of bacteria from fecal to soil, from harmful to harmless, and reduces the risk of infection.
We apply our Pruex Water Plus bacteria to drinking water to achieve clean, non-infective drinking water.
Some calves, if compromised by Crypto, do require nutritional supplementation. Pruex ATAL Youngstock Gut is a plant based liquid containing herbs such as Origano, Horsetail, Thyme and Loosetrife.
Calves born inside can be as healthy as those born outside, as long as we add more nature into their environment.
Can the cows’ immune system recover as efficiently when calving inside as it does when calving outside in pastures that aren’t over stocked?
Yes if the environment she is kept in presents similar levels of challenge as those faced by her outside. She will need to be adequately fed and have access to clean water, dry bedding dominated by non-infective bacteria, and clean air to breathe. Our strategy for dominating bedding and water with non-infective bacteria become really important in achieving these goals.
Yes, if the environment the cows are kept and the water they drink are dominated by non-infective bacteria. In addition to a daily spray of the bedding with Pruex Stabiliser bacteria, and daily treatment of drinking water with Pruex Water Plus bacteria, Pruex have herbal products to help during the transition period.
At the end of lactation, cows often produce high levels of milk that can be problematic when it comes to drying them off. We use Pruex Gallic Dry, an oral paste containing herbs that help them naturally reduce their milk production.
At calving we use another herbal product - Pruex Post Calving Bolus to help them recover from the processes of giving birth and cleansing. Clean cows post calving being the goal.
Pruex is a One Health company that inspires Prudent as Opposed to Excessive antibiotic use in Human and animal markets. Pruex.co.uk
Is clean, non-infective water a nutrient that gets overlooked by stockmen to the health detriment of their livestock?
We all know that water is vital to survival, and we know that cows can get some of their daily needs from the moisture contained within their feed. Every stockman will know that cows need plenty of clean water to produce milk. However, do they understand that poor water quality can result in herd health complications?
Farmers will have strategies for ensuring clean water. They may have Ultra Violet filters at the source of water on-farm, they may have a weekly rota whereby different staff are tasked with brushing the slime on the walls of the water troughs. Do they understand the cause of that said slime, and the effect it has on their livestock health? That slime is biofilm, a nest built by bacteria using the mineral in the water. Those bacteria can produce toxins that are problematic for the cows that drink the water. “The toll on the immune system could explain why some chronic mastitis cow become clinical” says Zoe Davies, operations manager at Pruex Ltd.
Pruex work with farmers to ensure that bacterial biofilms don’t become problematic on farm. The company has developed a three-fold strategy to ensure optimum quality drinking water for livestock.
- The Find process involves microbiology testing of existing biofilms.
- Based on the results the Fix involves daily dosing of Pruex Water Plus bacteria into the drinking water. This changes the population of biofilms from harmful to harmless and reduces the risk of infections on farm. The protocols applied on farm are reducing the need for antibiotics by over 70%.
- The Tell process involves a discussion with consumers of the good work done in agriculture to reduce the need for antibiotics.
“You can’t have clean milk if you give your cows dirty water. Our work on European and African farms demonstrates this point on a daily basis.” says Miss Davies. Farmers looking to improve herd health and drinking water quality are encouraged to contact Pruex.
Pruex is a One Health company that inspires Prudent as Opposed to Excessive antibiotic use in Human and animal markets. Pruex.co.uk