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Herd Health

Find information about mastitis, transition cows, vaccination protocols, working with your veterinarian, hoof care and hoof trimming.

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On a typical day, how often do cows interact with people on your dairy?

It’s common for a dairy team to mingle with a herd at least two or three times for milking, again if it’s a herd health day, again for breeding, again if pen shifts are on the schedule and probably again if any additional management interventions are needed.

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Cows are in negative energy balance (NEB) when their energy requirements (i.e., maintenance, gestation, production) are not met by their energy intake.

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The optimal dry period length between lactations in dairy cows has been debated since the early 1800s. During this time, some English farmers believed a two-month dry period was optimal, while others believed a two-week dry period was adequate.

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Managing cows through the end of the dry period and into their next lactation remains a challenge across many dairy farms. Much of this is driven by what we ask cows to handle throughout the weeks before and after calving.

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Take a moment to think about your last cow to calve. Was it smooth sailing or were there complications? If a complication arose, has this issue occurred before?

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My inquisitive 11-year-old recently asked me if a newborn child belonging to a family we know was in the hospital because the baby didn’t get enough colostrum. Wow. I could tell by the look on his face it was going to be a long conversation when I told him human babies don’t need colostrum like calves do.

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