Optimizing health during the transition period: insights and solutions

In the agricultural sector, numerous studies have been conducted to gain insight into the relationship between conditions during the transition period and the performance of dairy cows during lactation. These studies shed light on incidence and provide recommendations for farmers and veterinarians.

A study from 2012, published in the Journal of Dairy Science, reveals incidence of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA’s), beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and calcium in cows around calving. Incidences ranging from 5% to 50% were linked to increased risks of displaced abomasum, reduced milk production, and less pregnancy success after the first insemination. The level of BHB in the week before calving served as a predictor for milk production. These findings highlight the need to carefully monitor the transition period to ensure the health and performance of dairy cows. 

A more recent Canadian study from 2020 emphasized the complexity of management during the transition period. It highlighted the role of veterinarians as essential advisors in transition management. Improving communication and collaboration between veterinarians and dairy farmers in decision-making can significantly contribute to optimizing the transition period. Since the challenges faced by farmers vary from one farm to another, an individualized approach is of great importance.

In this context, BoviLab plays a crucial role as a monitoring device for the transition period. With the ability to analyze blood samples for calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), non-esterified free fatty acids (NEFA’s), and urea within 7 minutes, BoviLab enables bovine veterinarians, feed suppliers, and dairy farmers to identify issues and conditions before they become critical. This maximizes the potential of the livestock. BoviLab is a valuable addition for veterinarians to improve the transition period on dairy farms and ensure animal health.