Newly fresh cows that give less than 20 pounds of milk at the morning milking (on a 3X schedule) receive a thorough physical exam that day.

At Providence Dairy near Climax, Ga., employees have stopped temping every fresh cow to check cow health. Instead, the herdsman is present for the morning milking of all cows in the fresh pen.

Electronic milk meters measure individual production. Any cow that gives less than 20 pounds of milk that morning, or any heifer that gives less than 15 pounds of milk, gets a thorough examination. (All cows are milked 3X.)

The result is finding and treating sick cows sooner, says veterinarian and owner Paul Johnson. “We had sick cows with no fever that the guys just weren’t catching before,” he explains. “But this system allows us to do a better job of finding and treating those cows quickly.”