Dry-cow nutrition is essential to set up animals for a good lactation. But there are other management factors you should consider, suggests Geoffrey Dahl, University of Illinois associate professor of animal science. He recommends that you:

  • Make sure cows have access to clean, comfortable stalls bedded with inorganic materials. This increases lying time and may affect future cow performance.
  • Reduce heat stress and reduce photoperiod in the late-dry period. This improves production and cow health as animals transition into lactation.
  • Consider reducing the dry-period length for mature cows. This increases total milk production and eases the transition into lactation.
  • Employ feeding strategies that increase dry-matter intake during the transition period. This also decreases metabolic and digestive disorders.