In spite of plenty of food around this year, it is not always possible to keep cows in milk for the whole of the season. Persistent lameness, facial eczema on top of previous facial eczema, rising somatic cell counts in low producing animals (less than five litres milk per day) may force the decision to dry off some of your herd a little earlier.
Drenching calves pre-weaning
Is drenching calves that are still on a milk diet worth it? There is evidence that both worm establishment and the effects of parasitism are much less in animals on a milk diet, which questions the need for drenching calves before weaning. If the bulk of the calf's diet is milk and meal, pasture and therefore parasite uptake is limited.
The transition period is the period from three weeks before calving until three weeks after calving. This period is fundamental to the whole season's production and reproduction and management strategies should focus on three areas:
When you have decided on the date of the final milking, reduce the daily milk yields to between 5 - 10 l/cow by that date:
For many dairy farmers, the unusual wet summer, has not only resulted in plenty of grass but also in the occurrence of many lame cows because the track surfaces tend to break up and disappear during the wet periods and poor track maintenance and design is one of the major causes of lameness.