Dry-off and transition management of dairy cows
A good lactation must be prepared and it is therefore essential to offer the best conditions to your cows during the transition period. Thanks to milk recording data, we are able to offer you specific tools to monitor and assess your practices during this critical period. An optimal transition will promote the health and reproduction of your cows while maximizing their future milk production.
Tools to manage the transition period of your cows
To assess the situation and identify transition problems, it is important to analyze the information available and evaluate the progress of your herd’s results over time. Milk recording collects a wide range of information that can become useful management tools, such as KetoLab and the Transition Cow Index®.
This laboratory service allows you to evaluate the prevalence of ketosis in your herd, a disease that often appears during the transition period.
With no extra sampling effort on your part, the KetoLab analysis measures ketones bodies in milk and the results are included in your milk recording reports and in the Lactanet Mobile application.
Transition Cow Index®
Available in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces
The Transition Cow Index® provides a quantitative assessment of the effectiveness of your management program during the dry-off period and in early lactation. The result is expressed as the difference between the projected production value at the first control and the predicted average based on a dozen historical parameters specific to each cow.
Lactanet has all the information needed to calculate the Transition Cow Index® of each cow, for herds that are on milk recording.
On-farm advisory services in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces
Comfort and less stress for dry and transition cows
To optimize the chances of success, it is essential to prepare your cows adequately for dry-off while maximizing their comfort and keeping stress to a minimum. An uncomfortable or stressed cow will eat less, develop health problems and, ultimately, produce less milk. What are the golden rules of comfort for dry cows? What are the stress factors and how can they be minimized?
Duration of the dry-off period
Although the 60-day dry-off has been used for decades, studies have shown that reducing the dry-off period for high producing cows can have beneficial effects, particularly on health and reproduction. Furthermore, it is also possible to obtain additional milk at the end of lactation while avoiding negative impacts on future production.
Feeding your dry and transition cows
The composition of the ration also plays an important role during the transition period. Your advisor can customize rations to fit the needs of your dry cows to ensure proper preparation for future production.
Our advisors have the expertise to help you identify problems and find solutions to improve your transition management practices.
Don’t hesitate to call on our advisors for assistance. They can provide you with the right tools and guide you through the optimal dry-off stages.