Relationships Between Transition Cow Nutrition and Management Strategies and Outcomes in Large Dairy Herds in the Northeastern US
Kerwin, A.L.; Burhans, W.S.; Nydam, D.V.; Overton, T.R.
Given an increase in nutrient requirements for milk production, decrease in DMI, parturition, management factors such as frequent pen moves, and diet changes, the transition period is arguably the most demanding time in a dairy cow’s life. The objectives of the first part of this study were 1) to establish thresholds for NEFA, BHB, and haptoglobin concentrations that are associated with disease, 2) evaluate the association between the biomarkers with milk production and reproductive performance, and 3) identify herd-alarm levels for the biomarkers that are associated with herd-level changes in disease, milk, and reproductive performance. In addition, limited field data exist that evaluate different management and nutritional strategies that contribute to cow success in commercial farm settings. Therefore, recommendations are often driven by field experience from concepts established through controlled research with comparatively small numbers of cows. The objective of the second part of this study wasto evaluate management and nutritional factors with outcomes on commercial farms, such as disease, prevalence of elevated biomarkers, milk production, and reproductive performance to provide an understanding of how these factors contribute to transition cow success across a range of farm practices.
Transition cow; Nutrition; management; biomarkers
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