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Management During the Transition Period in Dairy Cows

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Sahrina Camilleri

on 25 September 2013

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Transcript of Management During the Transition Period in Dairy Cows

During the past 20 years transition cow management has been known to improve cow health, milk production
and reproductive performance

In adult dairy cattle, 80% of disease costs occur in the first 4 weeks after calving

It is also a peak period for culled and dead animals removed up to 4% in the first 10 days of lactation (Stevenson and Lean 1998)


Changes during the transition period

Negative energy balance


Hormone change
(estrogen, progesterone)

Calcium requirement

Milk lactose synthesis

Glucose demand

Homeorhetic adaptation
(milk production, calving)

Energy for maintenance

Non-esterified fatty acid (alternate fuels)

Nutritional demand


Stress (metabolic stess)

Changes during the transitional period

Smooth Muscle contraction


- Dystocia
- Retained Placenta
- Milk fever
- Abomasal displacement
- Ketosis



Immune function

Neutrophil function
Neutrophil viability

Negative energy balance

Thank you
for your attention


Our advisor
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Theera Rukkwamsuk, DVM, Ph.D.

1. Curtis, C.R., E.H. Erb and C.J. Sniffen (1983), Association
of parturient hypocalcemia with eight periparturinet disorders in Holstein cows. Journal
of the American Veterinary Medical Association 183:559.
2. Curtis, C.R., E.H. Erb, C.J. Sniffen, R.D. Smith and D.S. Kronfeld (1985), Path analysis of dry
period nutrition, postpartum metabolic and reproductive disorders, and mastitis in
holstein cows. J. Dairy Sci. 68:2347-2360.
3. Curtis, M.A. (1997), Epidemiology of uterine infections in dairy cows. Antioxidant and
metabolic investigations. University of Sydney.
4. Doepel, L., H. Lapierre and J.J. Kennelly (2002), Peripartum performance and metabolism of
dairy cows in response to prepartum energy and protein intake. J. Dairy Sci. 85:2315-2334.
5. Lean, I. and DeGaris, P. (2010). Transition Cow Management: A review for nutritional
professionals, veterinarians and farm advisers. Dairy Australia.
6. Rulquin, J. and R. Verite (1993), Amino acid nutrition of dairy cows: production effects and
animal requirements. In: Recent advances in animal nutrition. (eds P.C. Garnsworthy and
D.J.A. Cole) University Press, Nottingham, p 55.
7. Stevenson, M.A. and I.J. Lean (1998), Culling in eight New South Wales dairy herds: Part 1
Descriptive epidemiology. Aust Vet. J. 76:482-488.


Rumen is well adapted to higher energy feeds

Very low incidence of milk fever or other cow health problems common and low culling and death rates in the first 2 weeks after calving

Higher herd fertility

More productive lactations

Less labour and stress from time spent on sick cows

Enhanced animal welfare

Benefits of an integrated
approach to transition nutrition

1. Pasture/hay only

2. Pasture/hay + anionic salts in fodder or water

3. Pasture/hay + grain/concentrate

4. Pasture/hay + grain/concentrate + DIY anionic salts

5. Pasture/hay + commercial transition supplement (lead feed)

6. Fully integrated transition diet fed as TMR

Approaches to Transition Feeding

Immune suppression is often associated with lack of energy or protein intake

Micronutrients are also often involved, including copper, selenium, zinc, iodine, vitamin E and vitamin D

By providing these vital nutrients, immune dysfunction could be minimized

5. Minimize Immune Dysfunction

4. Maintain Calcium Homeostasis

Before calving, the daily requirement for calcium is increased

It may only be satisfied by increased absorption from the rumen or intestines, and increased mobilisation from tissue, especially bone reserves of calcium

Feeding diet with lysine: methionine ratio of
approximately 3:1 (Rulquin and Verite 1993)

Fat supplements may have beneficial effects in reducing liver triglyceride accumulation (Selberg et al. 2002) and levels of NEFA (Doepel et al. 2002) in the immediate post-partum period

3. Minimize Negative Energy
and Protein Balance

3. Minimize Negative Energy
and Protein Balance

after adaptation

before adaptation

Achieved by providing energy dense rations

Result in higher ruminal epithelium absorptive area and increased
volatile fatty acid and lactic acid absorption from the rumen

2. Stimulate Rumen Papillae Development

1. Maximize Dry Matter Intake

1. Maximize Dry Matter Intake

2. Stimulate Rumen Papillae Development

3. Minimize Negative Energy and Protein Balance

4. Maintain Calcium Homeostasis

5. Minimize Immune Dysfunction

Transition Period Management

Failure to adapt during this period may lead to shortages of nutrients that are vital for existence (Curtis et al. 1983; Curtis et al. 1985; Curtis 1997) and result in

- hypocalcaemia and downer cow syndrome
- hypomagnesaemia
- ketosis and fatty liver
- udder oedema
- abomasal displacement
- Retained fetal membrane or metritis
- poor fertility and poor production

Increase in expenses on treatment of these diseases, culling and death rates

Possible outcomes

Growth hormone



Acetyl CoA

Liver Function

Fatty Liver

Fat storage



Milk fat



Adipose Tissue





Ketone bodies

CO2 + Propionate

Trigly ceride

Non-esterified fatty acid


Non-esterified fatty acid


Changes during the transitional period

Defined as 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after calving

Dominated by a series of adaptations to the demands of lactation, a process termed ‘homeorhetic’ (Bauman and Currie 1980)

Involve an orchestrated series of physiological and metabolic changes that allow an animal to adapt to the challenges of the altered state

Characterised by greatly increased risk of disease

Transition Period
and Its Importance

To better realize metabolic and physiologic changes during the transition period

For better understanding of transitional period management in dairy cows


Group Members
1. Danudej Chiachunpong 5210900088
2. Aris Areekul 5210900151
3. Kamonwan Sookmark 5210900282
4. Tamonwan Boonyarattapan 5210900606
5. Ticharat Ratchaya 5210900649
6. Naruemol Maneechote 5210900681
6. Motee Chimngam 5210900878
7. Yossanun Sukmai 5210900894
8. Sahrina Camilleri 5210901076
9. Sukanya Aupapong 5210901092

Transition period and its importance

Changes during the transition period

Possible outcomes

Transition period management

Approaches to transition feeding

Management During the Transition Period in Dairy Cows
Full transcript