1 min read
A successful dry period for cows entails hitting body condition score (BCS) targets before calving. This page emphasises the importance of meeting the cow's energy needs for maintenance, activity, BCS gain, and pregnancy during this time. It advises managing cows properly during the dry-off process, understanding the energy requirements of dry cows, meeting pregnancy needs, and feeding the right amount of appropriate feed. It also encourages considering factors like cold stress. By maintaining these practices, you can help your cows have a good start to their lactation period.
A successful dry period will ensure all cows achieve body condition score targets pre-calving and will help to get your cows off to a good start to their lactation.
From a nutritional point of view, the dry period covers the time from the cow being dried off until 3 weeks before she calves. During this time, the cow requires energy to support maintenance, activity, BCS gain and pregnancy.
Table 1: Approximate amounts (kg DM) of commonly used feeds required (down the throat) for a 1.0 unit increase in BCS (above requirements for maintenance, pregnancy and activity).