An effective transition feeding plan helps to avoid metabolic disease (like ketosis or milk fever), increase spring milk production and improve reproductive performance.
Transitioning a cow is putting in place a feeding system designed to get the entire digestive and hormonal system prepared for the rigours of calving and lactation.
A well transitioned rumen will ensure the cow is able to better digest the increased feed needed at this critical time, and convert this more efficiently to energy. A well primed digestive system will absorb more nutrients from the feed. And at the same time, priming the hormonal system will ensure that important nutrients are in good supply.
Benefits of transitioning well:
- Avoid clinical and subclinical metabolic disease
- Increase spring milk production
- Improve reproductive performance
Subclinical metabolic disease can actually affect up to 80% of cows, yet may remain unnoticed. This will have an impact on calving issues, production, immunity and animal condition. Using the correct ratio of minerals, in the right anionic form, mobilises the rumen prior to calving giving improved energy levels during early lactation.
The challenge is to identify the correct combination of minerals required to balance the specific diet nutrient levels of the animal. These minerals also need to be in the correct form to match the feeding systems being used on the farm.
The transition mineral support needed will be different on each farm. For best results the feed ratio, feed nutrient composition and animal condition all must be considered when formulating the correct blend.
This blend may need to change for different groups of cattle entering the mob on the same farm, and as feed levels and ratios change as the season progresses.