When evaluating the success of your transition-cow program, Mike Hutjens, extension dairy specialist at the University of Illinois suggests looking at these three things:

  • Percentage of cows that are culled before reaching 60 days in milk. Suggested goal: Below 8 percent.
  • Dry-matter intake in the close-up pens. Suggested goal:  More than 30 pounds per day in a mature-cow pen; more than 28 pounds per day in a pen with both mature cows and heifers, and more than 25 pounds per day in a springing-heifer pen.
  • Incidence of metabolic disorders. Suggested goal: Keep the incidence of milk fever below 1 percent; ketosis, below 2 percent; DAs, below 3 percent, and retained placentas, below 5 percent.