Transition management is the best way to support our cows to preform to their potential around calving and has flow on benefits through lactation. Recent studies found that a well-managed transition plan can result in an increased lactation production of 5-10%, increased 6 week in calf rates and reduced incidence of disease. From a financial perspective the return on investment from production gains alone equated to 5:1 over the costs of transition feeding.
When developing a transition plan, it is best to seek expert advice from your Vet &/or Nutritionist to identify the most suitable plan for your system.
Points to discuss:
- Timing - We recommend a 3 week transition to adapt cows to lactational feedstuffs
- Energy - Feed at 100% of dietary energy requirements also accounting for pregnancy
- Protein - Generally not limiting in pasture based system
- Body condition - Target 5 for cows and 5.5 for heifers
- Magnesium - Supplementation essential, seek advice if needed
- Calcium - Avoid calcium supplementation in transition cows without professional advice
- Trace elements - Highest demand period for copper, selenium, and cobalt
- DCAD & Zeolite - Seek professional advice before using