Feb. 7 2022 08:00 AM

Sponsored content created by Dr. Ruby Wu, Dairy Technical Service Manager at Arm & Hammer Animal and Food Production

Transition health is essential to lactation success, and a quality transition management plan is essential to your bottom line. The numbers don’t lie — maintaining transition health is an excellent way to avoid unnecessary expenses. Here are three critical considerations for your transition management plan.

1. Implement a DCAD balancing strategy.

One area every nutritionist and producer should pay close attention to is dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) balancing. A good transition program will help the herd to set a good stage for the entire lactation and prevent metabolic disorders. One effective way to reduce milk fever or subclinical hypocalcemia is to utilize negative DCAD prepartum. Ammonium chloride or calcium chloride are frequently used to achieve negative DCAD in closeup diets, and products like BIO-CHLOR can help achieve the same DCAD level plus other nutritional benefits such as metabolizable protein.

2. Increase metabolizable protein.

Nutritionists have been paying more and more attention to formulating diets for closeup cows with higher metabolizable protein (MP) as opposed to crude protein (CP). CP is not correlated with the amounts of protein absorbed by cows, whereas MP is the overall protein that will be absorbed and truly used by the animal. It includes the microbial protein which has the premium amino acids profiles and the bypass protein. MP supplies are important for milk production, reproduction, and other metabolic functions. We recommend around 1,300 grams of MP per cow per day.

3. Consistency is key.

Dairy management and production can be very dynamic, and it’s easy for things to get chaotic. But whether we’re talking transition management or feed supply, consistency is key for overall herd health. Producers should look for reliable feed ingredient suppliers to help minimize changes at the dairy and work to develop and follow SOPs to help lower variability. Consistency makes for a happy and healthy herd throughout all life stages.

Paying close attention to these three critical aspects of your transition management plan can make all the difference in the health of your cows. To learn more about maximizing your transition management, plan be sure to listen to Dr. Wu’s recent episode of Food Chain Chats, ARM & HAMMER’s food safety podcast.