New Thoughts on Pre-partum Transition Cows
By Amber Wilkens, Dairy Technical Specialist, Phibro Animal Health Corporation
Feeding and management strategies for pre-partum transition cows have taken a 180-degree turn. Before, it was “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.” Today, we know that de-emphasizing the pre-partum transition cow program only leads to reduced cow health and performance, which ultimately affects farm profitability.
Benefits of a sound pre-partum transition cow program?
A properly fed and managed program allows cows to express their full genetic potential for milk yield and reproductive performance. Benefits include:
1. Providing the increased amount and balance of key nutrients for animal health and productivity.
2. Maintaining/increasing pre- and post-partum dry matter intakes.
3. Increased milk yield in early lactation, increasing total milk yield throughout lactation.
4. Reduced health events including DAs, RPs, metritis, mastitis, ketosis and hypocalcemia.
5. Earlier return to estrus and enhanced fertility for improved reproductive performance.
Managing subclinical hypocalcemia (SCH) is a key to transition cow health and productivity.
SCH is the most prevalent herd health disorder of fresh cows. It affects upwards of 70% of all animals. Despite the high risk of cows to SCH (good milk cows are prone to hypocalcemia) it is a disorder which can be managed and reduced through the feeding of a negative DCAD ration. Many research reports substantiate the benefits to cow health, milk yield and reproductive performance of feeding a negative DCAD ration.
Choosing the correct anionic product along with the proper ration nutrients is critical to the success of the program. Animate®, from Phibro Animal Health, is a highly palatable, concentrated and complete anionic mineral. When fed correctly, Animate will help reduce the incidence and negative effects of hypocalcemia.
Phibro Animal Health works closely with MLN’s nutritionists to ensure your transition cow program is meeting your dairy’s needs. For more information on Animate and how to evaluate your current program, contact your MLN representative, or visit www.animate-dairy.com.