Separating pre-partum cows and specifically managing their diets could help dairy farmers increase milk yield, a meeting at Warrnambool was told last week.
US vet and consulting nutritionist Bob Corbett spoke about the importance of a healthy immune system in dairy cows.
He suggested Australian dairy farmers could remove cows from pasture for three weeks before calving and feed them a balanced diet to limit health issues such as milk fever, subclinical hypocalcaemia, mastitis and retained placenta during lactation.
Dr Corbett said this had been successfully trialled in Chili with pasture-based operations.
“The pre-partum cows at least three weeks prior to calving were moved back onto a carrel, built specifically for them with more than adequate deep bunk space,” he said.
This resulted in dry matter intake post-calving increasing as well as milk production, and fewer issues with metabolic and infectious diseases, he said.
Source The Weekly Times