- Giving the cow a “GOOD START”
- The transition period is the most important period in the lactating cow’s year, with 80% of disease costs associated with this period1. For this reason it is essential that every dairy cow gets a good start to their lactation.
- Subclinical hypocalcemia and subclinical ketosis/ negative energy balance (NEB) are the main reasons why dairy cows do not get off to a “GOOD START”.
- Up to 50% of freshly calved dairy cows suffer from one or both conditions during the transition period, this in turn leads to
- Reduced fertility,
- Reduced milk yield,
- Displaced abomasum 2
- Monitoring the metabolic profile of the herd in the transition period allows for effective decision making around prevention and treatment of these transition period problems
- Low Calcium levels associated with subclinical hypocalcemia
- Elevated BHB and NEFA levels associated with NEB
- Low blood urea nitrogen levels are associated with poor availability of rumen degradable protein.
- Albumin levels are associated with liver function and long-term protein status.
- Elevated globulin levels can be indicative of chronic inflammation 3
2. The FarmLab Cow-Life programme monitors key health parameters in the herd on a continuous basis throughout lactation, thereby ensuring problems relating to health, parasites, and mastitis can be proactively detected.
Bulk tank milk is monitored throughout the lactation for:
Infectious disease – Leptospirosis. IBR, Salmonella, Mycoplasma, Neospora
Parasites – Gutworm and Liver Fluke
Mastitis – Individual culture of clinical mastitis / high SCC cases and Bulk tank milk PCR to detect the main mastitis causing organisms.