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Preventative Feeding of the Dairy Cow in Transition

22 December 2008

US - A new South Dakota State University publication provides information on feeding methods for dairy cows in the transition period between the close-up period and shortly after calving.

SDSU Extension Extra 4041, "Preventative Feeding of the Dairy Cow in Transition," is available at this link: http://agbiopubs.sdstate.edu/articles/ExEx4041.pdf. Or ask for it at your county Extension office.

The publication considers common problems that occur around calving time and the metabolic problems and complications that accompany this stage.

The authors - Extension Dairy Specialist Alvaro Garcia and SDSU dairy science professor Arnold Hippen - provide insight on preventing nutritional problems at calving, with details on preparing the rumen for the lactating diet.

They also explain the importance of maintaining blood calcium and strengthening the immune system of dairy cows. In doing so, they provide nutritional strategies and significant information on indicators that producers can note to ensure these management practices are effective.

Feeding schedules, along with recommendations for ration changes and methods to avoid excessive grain feeding, are included in the publication.

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