Dry cow management

Dry cow management is one of the most challenging aspects of dairy farming. The management, nutrition, and health practices implemented during the dry period will have profound effects on the cow’s productivity and profitability in the next lactation.

  • Aim for a dry period of minimum 6 weeks to a maximum of 8 weeks.
  • After drying off, move to suitable dry cow accommodation and monitor for signs of milk leakage.
  • Carry out vaccinations, parasite control and hoof trimming.
  • Cows should be dried off at 3.0 – 3.5 BCS and be fed to maintain this throughout the dry period.
  • Feed palatable bulky forage low in potassium to maintain rumen size, function and reduce dietary cation anion balance (DCAB).
  • Feed specific pre calver ration for the last 3 – 4 weeks of pregnancy or alternatively use Maxcare Primer.
  • Supplement cows with Maxcare Protected Precalver Extra E during the dry period. This will enhance their trace element and vitamin status with elevated levels of Vitamin E, Selenium and Iodine most important.
  • Transition diet is critical to ensure dry cows are adapted to the post calving ration.