Dry period is one of the most important stage of the cow's lactation cycle. This is where the herd will prepare for lactation in advance of the calving season and many problems during this phase will adversely affect the health and milk production.
Mastitis is an inflammation reaction in the cow's udder and it usually occurs during dry season. The disease is common among dairy cows and it is very costly as milk production is seriously affected. In some rare cases, mastitis will cause death. Hence, preventive measures need to be taken in order to make sure the cows are free from mastitis.
The udder is very susceptible to infection at the beginning and end of dry period. An intramammary antibiotic can help to eliminate existing infections and prevent any new ones from developing in the first few weeks.
Here are some other factors that need to be considered to have a successful drying off period:
Consider reducing the amount of milk yield to less than 15kg. This can be achieved by reducing amount of concentrates, energy and protein in the feed and instead, use more fibrous roughage.
Milking routines can be stopped abruptly without too many problems. This is encouraged because milking near to the drying season can make your cattle more susceptible to udder infection.
Provide a clean and dry environment for treatments to be applied to help avoid infections.
Extra attention needs to be paid to the ration during dry period.
It needs to be well balanced during a crucial time. Have a good mixture of energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins so that the cows can maintain a healthy BCS and immune system.