Fresh Cow Management

Fresh Cow Management

(Earl Aalseth, 7th Western Dairy Management Conference) " My clients have found that measuring a cow's rectal temperature is not always an adequate representation of her post calving health. Her metabolic status is just as important as her amount of infectious disease. To date, many fresh cow programs have been based on cows with rectal temperatures being greater than 103 or 103.5˚F. They are chalk-marked as abnormal and treated with Naxcel® Sterile Powder (ceftiofur sodium) or Excenel® RTU Sterile Suspension (ceftiofur hydrochloride). The next day, depending on their temperature, they may be treated again with either of these antibiotics or receive penicillin type antibiotics in the hospital if they are not responding. Indeed this simple, fast program might capture up to 50 percent of the cow health opportunities available."
Net Return On A Per-Cow Basis

"These economic return figures are based on an 8- to 9-pound per cow milk increase gained on an average 1,000 cow dairy by an aggressive fresh-cow program when milk is $12 per hundredweight. In this chart, facility cost is based on building cost and depreciation, and feed cost is based on the premise that each pound of milk requires an additional 0.5 pounds of dry matter at $0.07 per pound. Average drug cost is estimated at $16.56 per treated cow, with $10 allotted for labor. In this herd, 24% of cows are first-calf heifers – which give the highest net returns per cow to the program – 71% of cows are second lactation or higher, and 5% didn't complete the lactation.

  1st Lactation 2nd Lactation Plus All Cows
Additional milk $444.30 $273.33 $291.89
Additional feed cost ($155.65) ($95.75) ($102.25)
Additional drug and labor cost ($26.56) ($26.56) ($26.56)
Additional facility cost ($5.95) ($5.95) ($5.95)
Net return/cow $256.14 $145.06 $157.12
Net return on a herd-wide basis (based on herd demographics) $62,498.86 $102,560.86 $149,420.50
Return on investment 136% 213% 217%

Fevers are often identified by the DVM system prior to clinical symptoms allowing a herd manager to take quick action. Depending upon your individual animal health levels, reduction in illness may produce a return on investment in less than one year. DVM boluses are the only temperature boluses that last for the life of the cow unlike battery powered devices that can run out of power. Extremely accurate and more relevant core body temps are provided automatically, eliminating labor, reducing illness length and increasing milk quality and productivity.