Good transition management results in optimal peak milk production
A resilient dairy cow is a cow that deals with transitions successfully, increasing the chances to express all her genetic potential to produce milk29,30,31. Resilient dairy cows have less day-to-day variation in milk production and a slower decline in milk production29. As a result, they reach peak production between 50 and 70 days in milk. To reach her peak production:
- Her calving process should be smooth with minimal amounts of stress
- A balanced diet should be provided that contains all the nutrients she needs to produce milk but it should also contain sufficient amounts of fibre
- Feeding management should give her free access to fresh feed and fresh water throughout the day, enabling her to eat 12 meals per day
Studies carried out by the ILVO in Belgium18 showed that if a farm increases its average production from 27 to 30 kg per day, methane emission per kg of milk produced will go down by up to 8.4%. A Selko programme for sustainable dairy farming offers the tools to manage the transition to lactation in an optimal way, ensuring that cows reach their peak production between 50 and 70 days in milk.