The mammary gland is a complicated organ where physiological and biochemical changes are shaped. The dry off period of the dairy cows on the other hand, is a transitional period during which changes of biochemical and intracellular nature take place in the mammary gland.
Dry Off management is an extremely important part of mastitis containment programs. This period is highly critical for udder health. Because the udder epithelium rests, replenishes itself and prepares for the next lactation, during this period.
In addition, the dry off periods assists with creation of reserves necessary for the prevention of illnesses tied to vitamin, mineral imbalances observed especially before and after labour, as well as metabolic responses of the cow to the approaching labour, not to mention their contributions to udder health and milk yield.
Dry Off Period and Its Importance
Studies performed have demonstrated that dry period can be shortened up to 4 weeks or prolonged up to 10 weeks. However, these studies report that the most convenient period would be 50 to 70 days, for udder health and milk yield aspects. If the length of dry period is kept shorter than 40 days, the bovine mammary gland enters in colostrogenesis stage after active involution. In this case, the milk yield remains below expectations during the following lactation period.
According to studies performed, when the dry period is kept very short, an efficiency loss of 18 to 29% is observed during the subsequent lactation. A dry period longer than 70 days, on the other hand, will entail to a drop in overall milk quantities to be obtained as a result of shortening in subsequent lactation period, as well as fattening of the cow until calving.
MilkingCloud Cattle Tracking Software notifies you of the time when you need to Dry Off your animals, via e-mail. Designed according to the life cycle of a bovine animal, the Cattle Tracking Software will track the Dry Off period of your pregnant animals, on your behalf.
Dry Off Treatment and Its Importance
Studies performed indicate that 48% of dairy cows get infected during the first 3 weeks of the dry period, and almost half of the infections can be permanent for the next lactation period. Consequently, antibiotic therapy during the dry period is considered to be the most effective way for the elimination of infections of the udder preexisting before the start of dry period and prevention of recurrences.
At the end of various studies conducted, it was demonstrated that treatment rate can be elevated and the risk for new infections lowered with long-acting intra mammary antibiotics used at the beginning of the dry off period. It is for this reason that dry-off period treatment has long been considered as one of the most critical elements of any mastitis control schemes.