BS in Dairy Science
Dairy Science Department
The transition period is one of the most important times in a cows life. Cows during this period are susceptible to many kinds of health problems that are related to the time of calving. These metabolic disorders can have a large impact on the beginning milk yields of dairy cows. This study was done to see if the amount of days in the close up pen has a large effect on milk yield after calving. Five Holstein dairy herds in the California Central Valley were used for this study. Residence time in close up pen was recorded for all cows. After the animals calved they were put into groups based on the amount of days that they were in the close up pen. For each group, week 4, week 8 and peak milk production were used to track the amount of milk yield for each group. This was done to examine if amount of days in the close up pen affected the cow’s milk yield after calving. Also, the 60 day cull rates were evaluated to see how the amount of days in the close up pen affected the animals risk of being culled. Lastly gestation length for each group was examined to see if the animals were calving within the expected time frame.