10 reasons to temp cows

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Producers who have started daily temping programs for just-fresh cows rave about the results. However, if you're still on the fence about whether or not to do it, Roger Saltman, technical services veterinarian at Pharmacia Animal Health, offers these reasons for why you should temp cows for 10 days after freshening:

1. Fever is often the first warning sign of a cow becoming sick. Milk production losses and feed declines generally arrive after the fever.
2. Not all cows that look healthy are healthy. In many cases, fevers develop 24 to 36 hours before other clinical signs of common fresh-cow problems.
3. Daily handling and attention devoted to each individual fresh cow will help alert you to fresh-cow problems that don't necessarily include a fever.
4. Five to seven days of temping only catches about 85 percent of all sick cows. Research shows that 15 percent of fevers and fresh-cow problems don't surface until days eight, nine and 10 post-freshening.
5. Animals that calve without problems - no dystocia and no retained placenta - still develop about 20 percent of all fresh-cow problems that occur.
6. Catching illnesses early increases the odds for that animal to recover and maintain a productive status in your herd. This helps minimize the number of involuntary culls made.
7. Minimize discarded milk. When you detect problems early, often the treatment time is reduced, which, in turn, reduces the amount of milk that gets discarded to avoid antibiotic residues.
8. Cows keep eating. Early intervention helps prevent cows from going off feed and spiraling into a negative energy balance.
9. Less milk production losses. Milk production among cows that receive prompt treatment upon fever detection tends to keep pace with animals that did not become ill.
10. It pays. Cows that receive early intervention for a developing health problem keep eating, milking and have better reproductive performance, all of which add to your bottom line.



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