Maintaining Dry Cow Nutrition
May 7 2014
Attention to detail when considering nutrition of your dry cows is paramount. Management and nutrition decisions made during this period will have impacts on future milk production and herd health during their next lactation.
Ideally during the dry period the main aims should be to provide the cow with adequate nutrition to accomplish a range of key objectives, some of which include; supplying nutrition to nourish the growing calf, maintaining ideal body condition for the dry cow, and management to try and minimize the likelihood of any metabolic or digestive issues that may occur upon calving or into early lactation.
By supplying nutrition enough for both the calf and the dry cow you are ensuring the future productive capacity of your herd. Body condition maintenance is essential for the dry cow as she enters lactation. Cows will draw on their body reserves as they come back into the herd and losing body condition at this time is inevitable so to have a cow at condition score 4.5- 5.5 is the ideal target range. This has a range of benefits to the cow and in turn management of the herd including less chance of deficiency related illnesses (such as Milk Fever and Ketosis) and allows for a quicker return to cycling; therefore the ability of greater in calf rates to be achieved earlier. A well planned and executed transition period is also paramount in achieving a smooth transition into an early lactation cow.
For information and advice on Dry and Transition cow management speak to a CopRice representative.