Transition Cow Management

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