Dry Cow and Transition Feeds
Dry Cow, Close-up and Transition Feeds - Dry cows are all too often a neglected part of the dairy herd. Effective Dry Cow and Transition management is absolutely essential to achieving optimum animal welfare, high milk yields, good herd health and fertility. Consequently we have developed a range of products to suit a wide range of situations. We aim to calve cows down in a condition to reach their yield potential in the subsequent lactation.
RWN Pre-Calver and Transition Feeds:
- F1 Trans Omega advanced transition cow supplement
- F1 OmegaPro X, RWN Optomega-3
- Transition Cow Syrup
- Pre-Calver Rolls
- Dry Cow and Pre-Calver Minerals to a variety of specifications both conventional or DCAD
- Free Access Elite Dry Cow Molassed Mineral Buckets, Biocell Yeast Pre-Calving Buckets
- Sopralin, Soypass, Prairie Meal
- F1 Elevator, Glucolac Plus, Propylene Glycol liquid
- Live Yeast Products - Acticell Yeast, BiocellSC47 Yeast
- Magnesium Chloride Flakes
- X-Zelit - Milk Fever Prevention
- Calcium Bolus Extra, Phosphor Bolus
- F1 Fresh Start Calving Cow Drink and Rehydration Therapy and Maxcare Reviva
Making best use of the wide range of feeds available is an area where our nutritional expertise is of particular benefit to our customers
Can we afford not to have a Dry Cow Programme?
Metabolic problems which may result from incorrect nutrition at this time often result in reduction in total dry matter intake of up to 5kg per cow per day in early lactation. Problems such as milk fever, retained placenta, fatty liver syndrome, ketosis, displaced abomasums, high cell counts and mastitis, which may relate directly to management during the dry and transition periods can easily result in costs of several hundred pounds per cow. On the other hand good management and improved supplementation during this period costing less than £20 per cow can improve milk yields by up to 1000 litres per cow. At the same time as putting less pressure on staff, improving animal welfare, herd health and longevity.
The first 5 - 6 weeks of the Dry Period
Objectives in the early dry period are simply to provide a diet which will maintain body condition score at around 2.5 to 3.0 by controlling access to forage and by providing ad lib straw and minerals. Forages should be low in both potassium and calcium. Mineral supplementation should aim to correct any deficiencies left over from the previous lactation as well as minimise the incidence of milk fever at calving.
Rather than adopting a traditional approach of "feeding minerals to prevent clinical deficiency", we aim to "provide all the tools for optimum milk production, fertility and health". It should not be forgotten that minerals are a key influencer of immunity and disease resistance, and that up to half of mastitis infections are picked up during the dry period.
The Transition Period (last 3 weeks before calving)
The changeover period from the dry cow diet to the full lactating diet is a critical time for the dairy cow. During this time the cow is faced with massive physiological changes, a 300% plus rise in energy requirements and all the trauma of calving and introduction to a fresh group of cows. The change should be as gradual as possible running from at least 3 weeks before calving and ideally continuing for several weeks post-calving.
The transition cow pre-calving will need around 125 MJ from 12kg - 13kg dry matter intake per day. Providing adequate supplementation will ensure that the cow calves with minimal problems, with good rumen function, in good health and well placed to get back in calf and to produce high yields of good quality milk.
Diets for dry cows and transition diets may include a range of supplements designed to meet most of the cows requirements. Our own range includes RWN Pre-calver FA mineral, RWN Elite Dry Cow free access molassed mineral buckets and Transition Cow Syrup. Transition Cow Syrup supplies a range of nutrients including energy, sugars, propylene glycol, minerals and trace elements and magnesium chloride.
Often with herds with good genetic potential, high standards of stockmanship and well designed lactating diets a key factor limiting milk yields, fertility, herd health and profitability will be transition diets and transition management. Ideally supplementation should address the following areas: amount and type of energy and protein sources, fibre, glucose precursors / propylene glycol, Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, sodium and other mineral and trace nutrients both inorganic and protected, vitamins and a good quality live yeast such as BiocellSC47.
The Dietary Cation Anion Difference / Balance (DCAD / DCAB) is also very important in both the control of milk fever and optimum performance post calving. The addition of a live Yeast Supplement to the diet from 3 weeks prior to calving, continuing on into and through the lactation has proven extremely beneficial both in terms of general health and animal welfare as well as in terms of improved performance.
F1 Trans Omega the effective solution to feeding the Transition Cow
The importance of good nutritional management during the transition period which takes the cow from the dry cow diet to the high yielding lactating cow diet cannot be over stressed. RWN has along with other members of FIAM been at the forefront of the development of F1 Trans Omega the most effective solution to feeding the transition cow that we have seen to date.
F1 Trans Omega is now recognised as one of the industries leading transition cow supplements. It is designed to be fed at 1kg per cow for 21 days prior to calving, and has proven extremely successful at controlling milk fever and metabolic problems at calving. Farmers using the product have found that cows calve down with minimal problems and go on into lactation with good dry matter intakes and few metabolic problems.
The use of highly available energy sources including propylene glycol and glucose directly available to the liver along with high levels of protected choline chloride and omega-3's from fish oils reduce problems associated with fatty livers and improve liver function resulting in a reduction in negative energy balance. Protected choline chloride has been shown in trials to reduce ketosis levels by more than 60%, as well as showing a marked reduction in metritis, displaced abomasums (DA's), mastitis, death and culling in the subsequent lactation.
Provision of digestible undegradable protein sources or DUP ensure good amino acid supply for calf growth, colostrum production and to supply the requirement for protein for the major physiological changes taking place in the transition cow. The addition of high quality DUP pre-calving has been shown to boost milk yields and milk protein % as well as bringing forward fertility cycling.
Omega-3 fatty acids together with a state of the art mineral and vitamin package are included to improve immunity, fertility hormone production and cow health. F1 Trans Omega is cost effective to use and has proved to be highly effective in reducing metabolic disorders and conception to first service, as well as in increasing dry matter intakes and milk yields during the subsequent lactation.
F1 Trans Omega is a palatable, free flowing meal designed to be fed at 1kg / cow / day for around 21 days pre-calving. F1 Trans Omega is an extremely effective solution to feeding the transition cow.
Getting the feeding and management right through the dry period, and the through Transition, 3 weeks pre-calving and 3 week post calving is more important than any other time. Transition management is key to herd health to fertility and to profitable milk production.
Full nutritional support package free of charge to customers along with the most extensive range of high quality feed inputs available.
For advice on designing an effective dry cow and transition feed programme, contact Richard Webster