Transition Cow Management: Significantly Much more Than Just Diet | Dairy Farming Information & Facts

As I mentioned in one particular of my preceding posts, the changeover time period is 1 of, if not the, most tough interval for dairy cows for the duration of their production cycle.

Throughout this time, cows knowledge 4 key physiological challenges: a drop in dry matter intake, an enhance in nutrient demands, immunosuppression, and systemic worry and irritation (in particular all over calving).

Thus, the finest solution to take care of this team of animals is by addressing these problems.

If we feel about the fall in intake and the increase in nutrient desires, the major detrimental consequences are animals receiving into a damaging strength equilibrium (due to the fact they are using more vitamins than what they are consuming) and establishing metabolic diseases such as ketosis and fatty liver.

Now, we can not decrease the nutrient requires that cows have at this time, but we can decrease the fall in dry matter ingestion via proper management.

Even though cows will practical experience some diploma of immunosuppression for the duration of this time regardless of management, an exacerbated tense and/or inflammatory reaction may well magnify this immunosuppression, growing the possibility of cows acquiring conditions.

The losses for dairy cows affiliated with disorders are very well regarded, but on leading of affecting the welfare of cows and the pockets of the farmers at the minute of supplying correct procedure, these ailments have a prolonged-time period influence on the productiveness and fertility of cows, lowering milk output and conception rates, and expanding culling of animals.

By modulating worry and swelling just after calving, the pitfalls of acquiring conditions and bad overall performance may well be diminished.

The management techniques for changeover cows must be concentrated on maximizing dry make any difference consumption and modulating tension and swelling.

To optimize dry subject intake, diet composition — in particular fiber and power concentrations —is a single of the most vital aspects to realize this.

Dr. Robert Van Saun clearly stated in our earlier posts some of the vital aspects for formulating transition cow diet plans.

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Despite the fact that food plan composition is vital, I would argue that what we do with that eating plan is similarly critical.

We could have the finest formulated diet with the greatest substances, but if cows do not have accessibility to it, the diet program composition would be irrelevant.

During this time period, cows need to have accessibility to clean feed at least 23 hours a day, and only have no feed offered though cleansing the feed bunk in between feed deliveries.

There are two key tactics that stimulate cows to go to the feed bunk and eat — feed drive-ups and feed supply frequency.

It is advised to thrust feed up each two to 4 several hours, but do it more normally (each and every 30 minutes) all-around the initial two several hours following fresh new feed is delivered.

With regard to feed delivery frequency, investigate has revealed that when carried out normally, up to four instances a working day, this apply will stimulate cows to go to the feed bunk and consume.

Nonetheless, feeding cows 4 times a working day can be logistically intricate in a farm environment, and the advice is to deliver fresh new feed at the very least two moments a working day, ideally 3, for this team of animals.

Stocking Density

Now, none of the methods previously mentioned will function if cows are not available a place in the dining desk, which leads to an crucial aspect: right stocking density.

Even though this is a broad topic, I will test to summarize it in a number of sentences.

There are two means to evaluate stocking density one particular of them is based mostly on the lying surface, or stalls, and the other one is based on the feed bunk place.

The most secure way to assess this, in purchase to ensure feed availability, is to use the feed bunk area system.

By measuring the feed bunk place in inches and dividing that by quantity of cows in the pen, the house at the feed bunk that each and every cow has obtain to can be estimated.

Preferably, 30 inches of feed bunk room is expected per cow in the pen, which will be comparable to possessing a stocking density of 80%-85% primarily based on range of stalls in the pen.

Other techniques that can raise dry make any difference ingestion and modulate worry are keeping the amount of pen movements at the minimal probable (to lower the pressure related with the re-establishment of pen social hierarchy), and staying away from commingling initially-lactation cows with more mature cows.

Cutting down Stress

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Quite a few of these practices described higher than could modulate tension and swelling to some diploma even so, there are unique procedures all over calving that could have a bigger effect.

In just one of our research, we identified that cows that knowledge a hard calving have an elevated inflammatory reaction in the times right after calving, and subsequently, a increased possibility of acquiring diseases compared to cows that skilled a regular calving.

Therefore, well timed identification and correct help of cows encountering a tough calving is crucial to lessen swelling and anxiety in the course of this time.

As I have pointed out in quite a few of my past article content, staff schooling is the incredibly initial, and potentially the most vital, move to obtain this.

In the very same research, we discovered that cows that experienced dystocia and have been handled with a delicate anti-inflammatory drug developed nearly 10 lbs for each working day a lot more milk during the initial 30 times after calving compared to cows that experienced dystocia but have been not handled.

Similarity, multiparous cows, regardless of calving issue, that were dealt with with this anti-inflammatory drug had lower systemic irritation and developed almost 4 pounds for every working day much more milk in the course of the first 30 times in milk as opposed to cows that were being not dealt with.

In a extra current examine, we located that cows that been given this mild anti-inflammatory procedure method had decreased incidence of uterine disorders, such as metritis, and also enhanced fertility.

Consequently, there could be an edge to modulating irritation soon after calving.

If you observed, I stated “modulating” and not “decreasing.” The reason behind this is that cows have to have the tension and inflammatory responses for pure procedures this kind of as parturition initiation and expulsion of the placenta.

In a review the place cows have been addressed with a powerful anti-inflammatory drug throughout and right after calving, treated cows had a better price of stillborn calves, postpartum fever, retained placenta, metritis and reduced milk generation.

Administration of changeover cows is one particular of the most essential elements on farm administration that will established up dairy cows for results through the lactation period if appropriately executed.

The most important ambitions of these techniques ought to be maximizing dry matter consumption and modulating pressure and irritation.

Outstanding diet regime formulation and feed bunk management are vital for lowering the drop in dry make a difference consumption nevertheless, if cows do not have access to the food plan, these methods will be meaningless.

Calving monitoring and right aid, alongside with gentle anti-inflammatory treatment method, can be valuable to modulate stress and irritation just after calving and reduce the losses related with this period.