Poor transition management results in early culling of dairy cows
Functional longevity of dairy cows is related to the ability of the cow to avoid culling due to reasons other than poor milk production15,16,17. Early culling is often related to metabolic diseases7,27,28. The negative economical impact of early culling can be as high as 800 to 1000 € per case32,33. Good transition cow management is key to avoid involuntary culling early in lactation.
Aim should be to reach at least 5 lactations per cow. To achieve this, the involuntary culling rate in heifers should be below 15%19,21 whereas the involuntary culling rate of the herd should be below 5%21.
Studies carried out by the ILVO in Belgium18 showed that if the culling rate of dairy cows is being reduced by 5% and average milk production per day goes up by 3 kg, methane emission per kg of milk produced goes down by 11.7%.
The Selko programme for sustainable dairy farming can avoid metabolic stress and reduce metabolic diseases in dairy cows, resulting in an optimal number of lactations per cow