The period between drying-off and before calving is an opportunity for cows and farmers to prepare for the forthcoming lactation. It gives mammary tissue a chance to recover and repair, and for cows that have been treated with antibiotic dry cow treatment (DCT), a chance to cure existing infections.
Guideline 18 - Check udders after dry off. Cows are susceptible to new infections particularly in the first week of the dry period before their teats have sealed. These infections must be identified and treated so that they do not persist and create problems after calving.
Guideline 19 - Observe cows weekly. Dry cows should be checked regularly for changes in the udder because clinical cases can occur during the dry period and quarters that are not treated may have lower production in the next season.
Guideline 20 - Check meat withholding periods. Local and overseas consumers demand ‘clean beef’, free from unacceptable chemical residues. Cows culled from our dairy herds must be free from all unacceptable residues when they are sold for slaughter. Errors have the potential to jeopardise New Zealand’s beef industry.