Owen Atkinson

  • Webinar recorded on Tue 17th December, 2013
  • 0 hours 58 mins

Cow Signals was developed by a group of Dutch vets in 2002 and has been developed since to incorporate the latest evidence based research in dairy health and husbandry to improve the way we house and manage our cows. As vets in practice we are highly trained to measure clinical signs which our patients show; it is part of our diagnostic skills. CowSignals training builds on this to make us more attuned to subtle behavioural signals given by both the individual and the herd. You will gain new skills and learn new objective measurements and scoring systems which are useful every day. You will learn how to help farmers provide for their cows’ needs which reduces disease and injury, and increases production efficiencies. By gaining confidence in advising farmers about housing design, feeding and management practices, you will add value to your clinical services. Owen is a vet who has worked in farm animal practice since 1994, mainly with dairy cows. He has the prestigious RCVS Diploma in Cattle Health and Production – awarded to only 24 vets in the past 20 years. He began his professional life in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, before moving on to work at the University of Liverpool teaching farm animal veterinary practice, and then Wrexham in North Wales. With his wife and three children, he settled in Cheshire where he became a partner in a large farm-only vet practice, Lambert, Leonard and May, which is part of the XLVets group of practices. Owen’s interests in rumen health, cattle foot care and lameness reduction led him to do an increasing amount of training and advisory work. In 2007, he became a fully qualified CowSignals trainer. CowSignals asks the cows what they think of their management and environment and uses this information to devise improvements, always seeking to implement the “success factors” which lead to happy and profitable dairy farms. In 2009, Owen was awarded a Trehane Trust/ Nuffield travel scholarship to look into the role of the dairy vet in knowledge transfer. During his travels, he was able to study dairy farming in The Netherlands, New Zealand and USA, and understand better the changing relationship between farmer and vet. In 2013, Owen left his practice to found Dairy Veterinary Consultancy Ltd, to better pursue his vision for preventive health management and strategy. He works with dairy farmers, other vet practitioners and the wider dairy industry and supply chain. Owen’s goal is to help farmers make changes on their farms which benefit the cows, the quality of life and the bank balance!

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