Planning for next season’s production and reproduction starts now. The ideal BCS is 5.0 for MA cows and 5.5 for first/second calvers. Do you have a plan for achieving target BCS? Some strategies include:
Give the first and second calvers more time dry than older cows
Young cows are still growing to reach their mature weight and often have lower intakes. Therefore, they’re only able to put weight on slowly, and require more time to achieve target BCS.
Split dry herds on BCS and time until calving
If you dry-off all at once then it is necessary to split the dry cows into herds based on condition and expected calving date. This allows for preferential feeding. If supplement is going to be fed, then feed it to the herd you want to gain the most condition or that needs to put it on fastest.
Staggered dry-off based on BCS and time to calving
The principle here is that every dry cow can be fed the same, but the difference is how long she is dry for.
For more on BCS strategies visit Body Condition Score strategies - DairyNZ
28 Feb 2024
30 kgs DM/day
2265 kgs DM/ha
% in milk
Crude Protein Level