ebbe - European Board of Bovine Experts


The first EBBE meeting discussed and ranked main dairy cow fertility issues involving management, heat detection, nutrition, egg/ovarian health, metritis and liver function. Guidelines for good management practice in this context were drafted by the members and the general consensus at the end of the day was:

"Rather than concentrating on high milk yields being the cause of poor fertility we need to focus on improved fertility as the key to efficient milk production"

EBBE will develop a metabolic health scheme

Metabolic health implies a cow's ability to self-regulate its metabolic system, in a way to promote physical, mental and social wellbeing - all of which influence production capacity. A number of factors can cause metabolic imbalances, which can result in clinical or subclinical diseases. Good management is the most important factor in increasing productivity in a dairy herd. Management of inputs such as diet, dry matter intake, disease control and environment at an individual farm level, all impact metabolic health. In turn, metabolic imbalances will result in metabolic diseases, poor fertility and uterine health, decreased dry matter intake, increased loss of body condition, a weaker immune system and more susceptibility to infectious diseases - all affecting milk production.

ebbe - Managing Metabolic Health - healthy cows for healthy profits

Effective management of the transition dairy cow is essential if both good reproductive performance and milk production are to be obtained in the next lactation. The on farm factors contributing to successful transition are becoming clearer in recent years and it is apparent that attention to detail regarding the social and environmental circumstances of the cow are at least as important of not more so than attention to the nutritional formulation of the ration.

To assist producers and their advisors in evaluating and understanding how these interacting factors may be combining on their own dairies to influence transition success members of the EBBE group have worked to produce a score sheet which can be used as a practical on farm tool to assess transition conditions. The score sheet provides both quantitative and qualitative assessment guiding the farmer towards areas most likely to need improvement and therefore likely to yield the greatest benefit.

The score sheet has been developed from a comprehensive review and discussion of the current scientific literature around the subject as well as the EBBE members own experiences along with numerous farm visits conducted by the group to evaluate the new score sheet. We hope we have developed a tool which will be easy to use on farm and enable producers to understand and implement the changes necessary to obtain transition success.

Click here the view the score sheet.


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A model for fertility in dairy cows

Modern Dairy Farming: Challenges & Solutions

Summarizing the metabolic diseases as a main influence on reproductive failure

Register or more information on the metabolic health scheme

ebbe - The European Board of Bovine Experts is supported by DSM The European Board of Bovine Experts is supported by DSM
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