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J Dairy Sci. 2010 Mar;93(3):1065-8. doi: 10.3168/jds.2009-2783.

Short communication: survey of fresh cow management practices of dairy cattle on small and large commercial farms.

Author information

1
Clinic for Animal Reproduction, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Berlin, Germany. wolfgang.heuwieser@ubc.ca

Abstract

The objective was to conduct a survey of current fresh cow management practices that have an effect on health and diseases postpartum considering different herd sizes of commercial dairy farms. A mail survey regarding aspects of the fresh cow program including general management issues, calving, diseases, and veterinary service was conducted utilizing a convenience sample. A total of 429 survey forms were returned (12.0% response rate) and could be used for final analysis. Only 21.6% of the farms had a designated fresh cow pen. Almost every farm executed some type of fresh cow examination. Only 18.5% of farm managers documented the observations. Most of the dairy managers used more or less subjective criteria such as general appearance (97.0%) and appetite (69.7%). Only a minority of the responding dairy managers monitored their fresh cows using objective (fever 33.6%) or semiquantitative measures (subclinical ketosis 2.8%; body condition score 36.4%). On most farms, the veterinarian visited the herd only if needed (72.6%). Most cases of retained fetal membranes were treated by manual removal (72.3%) and antibiotic pills (89.5%). Several challenges and opportunities were identified to improve cow management practices.

PMID:
20172227
DOI:
10.3168/jds.2009-2783
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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