Great opportunities, grave consequences: Managing the transition cow

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The transition dairy cow continues to be somewhat of an unsolved mystery. We continue to learn that how cows are fed, handled and managed during the three weeks before through three weeks after calving can have a definite influence on production, health and reproductive performance.

We know that reproductive performance can be directly influenced by metabolic disorders, early lactation performance and nutrition. The dairy is responsible for helping transition cows navigate a myriad of challenges leading up to calving through the initial weeks in the milking herd. And when properly handled, the returns in production, health and breeding pen performance can be great.

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