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Food for Thought: How to Monitor Your Herd in Transition
Transition monitor Nutrition module CowManager


Good nutrition is key for a healthy and productive herd, and a successful dairy farm. The Nutrition module can be an enormous boost for your business. With this module, CowManager helps dairymen to get a better handle on nutrition and predict herd risks when needed most: during the transition period.

Sooner, the Better
“The transition period is a make or break moment,” says Jeroen Pasman, Global Consultant at CowManager. He grew up in the dairy scene and has lived and worked on large dairies in The Netherlands, Germany, Russia and the US. “Nearly 80 percent of disease incidents happen during the transition period. If the 3 weeks before and the 3 weeks after calving run smoothly for your cows, you’re good.”

With the Transition monitor integrated in the Nutrition module from CowManager, underperforming cows are identified early on. The app displays transition alerts, that show if a cow is eating less, ruminating less and therefore could be at risk. This way, you can provide early support to minimalize the chances of excessive negative energy balance. Pasman: “When a cow shows clinical symptoms of disease, you’re already too late. Thanks to the Nutrition module, you’re aware of risks in an early stage and you can act sooner.” This allows you to help keep your cows healthy, as apposed to helping them recover from an ailment.

“The system never lies”
According to Pasman, identifying a cow that is at risk without the use of technology, is a very time-consuming task. “On large dairies the number of fresh cows you need to monitor can easily reach 150. Thanks to CowManager, the cows you need to monitor on a daily basis are far fewer. The data recognizes symptoms you would never be able to identify on your own so early on. In addition, problems in the fresh group are usually side effects of issues that have gone on for much longer. Identifying cows at risk early on can save you a lot of trouble, time and money.” 

Heat Stress and Group Behavior
The Nutrition module also includes a Heat Stress monitor and Group monitor. These give you alerts based on eating and rumination behavior, as well as activity. It also allows you to compare cows to one another. Are they not eating well? You will receive an alert. Maybe they have run out of feed in the barn. Are they experiencing heat stress? Perhaps you could give the cows more space and make sure they are cooled properly during the transition period. Pasman: “A dry cow is a heavily pregnant cow. Extra stress could be detrimental to her health, and that of her calf. The negative effects could become a factor for multiple generations. A troubled and unhealthy transition period can have serious consequences for the offspring.”

No more monitoring your cows based on a lucky guess. Thanks to the precise data the Nutrition module provides, you know exactly which cow deserves extra attention during the crucial transition period. This is beneficial for your herd and your operation and allows you to work more efficiently, saving you a lot of valuable time.

Read more about the Nutrition module.

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