After delivering milk for an entire lactation, dairy cows are approaching the critical time of drying-off. The demand in milk production has been high and will still be high at the moment of dry-off, coinciding with a moment when the calf is growing exponentially. It is very important to make sure that both, nutrition and comfort are adequate and that the social stress is minimal to prevent metabolic challenges that can compromise her health.
The introduction of a dry-off facilitator brings the opportunity to ease this critical moment by reducing milk production with one single injection and drying-off cows abruptly.
With the use of a dry-off facilitator there is no need of taking any other measures to reduce the milk production of dairy cows before or after dry-off. It allows the implementation of an easy dry-off procedure that simplifies management and improves the udder health and well being of the cow.
WHAT TO DO THREE WEEKS PRIOR TO DRY-OFF
- Dairy cows are pregnant at this time so we must ensure a proper supply of nutrients to support milk production, fetal development, and reduce the risk of metabolic problems around dry-off.
- The usual lactation ration (in quantity and quality) should be provided making sure that the food intake is preserved. It is recommended to keep the following diet characteristics:
- >14.5% Crude Protein
- 1.45 Mcal of NEl/kg
- >0.8% Ca
- 0.3% Mg
- Dairy cows should be kept in the same pen until the very last milking. Moving cows to new pens induces social stress that may compromise food intake.
- Free access to water should be kept at all times.
- It is important to maintain the same milking frequency and routine until the very last milking. Do not reduce the number of milkings.