As I talked about in a person of my past articles or blog posts, the changeover period of time is one of, if not the, most challenging time period for dairy cows for the duration of their creation cycle.
Throughout this time, cows knowledge 4 primary physiological difficulties: a drop in dry make any difference intake, an boost in nutrient requires, immunosuppression, and systemic strain and irritation (in particular all over calving).
For that reason, the best strategy to handle this group of animals is by addressing these worries.
If we consider about the fall in intake and the raise in nutrient wants, the main unfavorable consequences are animals having into a damaging energy equilibrium (for the reason that they are applying far more nutrients than what they are consuming) and developing metabolic health conditions these kinds of as ketosis and fatty liver.
Now, we simply cannot reduce the nutrient calls for that cows have at this time, but we can reduce the fall in dry issue consumption by means of right administration.
Although cows will experience some degree of immunosuppression during this time regardless of management, an exacerbated stress filled and/or inflammatory reaction could amplify this immunosuppression, escalating the risk of cows producing illnesses.
The losses for dairy cows involved with disorders are perfectly identified, but on major of impacting the welfare of cows and the pockets of the farmers at the instant of giving right therapy, these situations have a extensive-expression outcome on the efficiency and fertility of cows, decreasing milk creation and conception rates, and increasing culling of animals.
By modulating worry and irritation just after calving, the challenges of creating ailments and inadequate efficiency could be lowered.
The administration techniques for transition cows will have to be concentrated on maximizing dry issue intake and modulating pressure and swelling.
To improve dry matter consumption, diet plan composition — in particular fiber and electrical power concentrations —is a single of the most significant aspects to achieve this.
Dr. Robert Van Saun clearly defined in our preceding articles or blog posts some of the essential elements for formulating transition cow diet plans.
While eating plan composition is critical, I would argue that what we do with that diet regime is equally essential.
We could have the ideal formulated eating plan with the most effective components, but if cows do not have accessibility to it, the diet regime composition would be irrelevant.
Throughout this time period, cows should have access to new feed at the very least 23 hours a working day, and only have no feed offered when cleansing the feed bunk in concerning feed deliveries.
There are two principal methods that encourage cows to go to the feed bunk and take in — feed thrust-ups and feed delivery frequency.
It is recommended to drive feed up each two to 4 several hours, but do it much more often (just about every 30 minutes) about the initially two several hours following fresh new feed is delivered.
With regard to feed shipping frequency, analysis has shown that when done normally, up to four situations a day, this observe will stimulate cows to go to the feed bunk and take in.
Nevertheless, feeding cows four situations a day can be logistically intricate in a farm placing, and the suggestion is to supply clean feed at the very least two instances a working day, ideally three, for this team of animals.
Now, none of the tactics earlier mentioned will work if cows are not made available a place in the eating table, which potential customers to an important variable: appropriate stocking density.
Though this is a broad subject, I will check out to summarize it in a couple of sentences.
There are two approaches to evaluate stocking density one of them is dependent on the lying surface area, or stalls, and the other a person is primarily based on the feed bunk area.
The most secure way to evaluate this, in buy to guarantee feed availability, is to use the feed bunk place technique.
By measuring the feed bunk area in inches and dividing that by amount of cows in the pen, the room at the feed bunk that just about every cow has entry to can be estimated.
Ideally, 30 inches of feed bunk room is expected for each cow in the pen, which will be very similar to owning a stocking density of 80%-85% dependent on amount of stalls in the pen.
Other tactics that can enhance dry make any difference consumption and modulate anxiety are maintaining the amount of pen actions at the minimum amount achievable (to reduce the strain associated with the re-institution of pen social hierarchy), and avoiding commingling 1st-lactation cows with more mature cows.
Several of these tactics explained earlier mentioned may modulate pressure and swelling to some diploma even so, there are specific practices all-around calving that could have a better effect.
In just one of our studies, we located that cows that practical experience a difficult calving have an elevated inflammatory reaction in the days after calving, and subsequently, a larger risk of producing diseases as opposed to cows that experienced a usual calving.
As a result, well timed identification and suitable assistance of cows suffering from a tricky calving is crucial to minimize irritation and worry through this time.
As I have mentioned in a lot of of my preceding articles or blog posts, staff coaching is the extremely first, and potentially the most important, move to realize this.
In the very same research, we uncovered that cows that professional dystocia and were being dealt with with a delicate anti-inflammatory drug generated pretty much 10 lbs for every working day more milk throughout the initially 30 times immediately after calving compared to cows that skilled dystocia but have been not handled.
Similarity, multiparous cows, regardless of calving trouble, that ended up treated with this anti-inflammatory drug experienced reduced systemic irritation and created nearly 4 kilos for every working day a lot more milk throughout the initial 30 days in milk in contrast to cows that had been not dealt with.
In a far more new research, we discovered that cows that received this gentle anti-inflammatory procedure strategy experienced reduced incidence of uterine ailments, this sort of as metritis, and also improved fertility.
Hence, there may perhaps be an gain to modulating inflammation just after calving.
If you observed, I mentioned “modulating” and not “decreasing.” The explanation powering this is that cows want the worry and inflammatory responses for purely natural processes such as parturition initiation and expulsion of the placenta.
In a review wherever cows had been taken care of with a strong anti-inflammatory drug for the duration of and just after calving, handled cows experienced a bigger fee of stillborn calves, postpartum fever, retained placenta, metritis and decreased milk output.
Administration of transition cows is a single of the most essential areas on farm management that will established up dairy cows for achievements during the lactation time period if appropriately carried out.
The major targets of these practices have to be maximizing dry matter ingestion and modulating anxiety and inflammation.
Excellent eating plan formulation and feed bunk administration are important for decreasing the drop in dry make any difference ingestion even so, if cows do not have obtain to the diet, these practices will be meaningless.
Calving checking and right aid, together with delicate anti-inflammatory remedy, can be helpful to modulate stress and swelling following calving and decrease the losses connected with this time period.