Planning for the Dry Cow Period 2014
Is planning the beginning of the 2015 season

Proper planning requires three pieces of information:
1. Milk recording information
Milk recording allows you to identify the high SCC cows that need an extended dry period. These cows need to be given a long acting tube and some will need additional treatments.
 

2. Body Condition Score (BCS) of cows
1st October is an ideal time to BCS cows. This will help to identify the poorer BCS Cows calving early and allow you to give them a longer dry period.

3. Calving date
Calving dates are crucial for planning dry period, dry cow tube withdrawal and vaccinations for scour prevention. Now is a great time to scan cows if you have not already done so. BCS can also be measured at the time of scanning.

Ideally each cow needs 60 days dry minimum and needs to calve in a Body Condition Score of 3.03.25, similar to what she was dried off . The issues arising in spring calving herds are:
• Early calving cows (Jan/Feb) and the 2nd calvers are often calving down too thin (BCS <3.0)
• Late calvers (April/May) are calving down too fat (BCS 3.5 or above).

Plan the dry period now to ensure
• Each cow receives a minimum of 60 days dry.
• Extended dry periods for:
-High SCC cows
-Cows in low BCS
-Cows calving early & low BCS. First calvers finishing their first lactation in low BCS may need to be dried now if calving early.
• Milk on (to 60 days from calving):
-Cows in high BCS  (3.25 or more)
• Parasites are properly addressed-Liver Fluke, Worms, Lice & Rumen Fluke
 
 Liver Fluke

Vaccination-Maximise your investment
The 10 Golden Rules for Successful Vaccination

1. Make a plan
• Talk to your vet and decide which groups of animals should be protected against which diseases

2. Make sure the vaccination programme is completed exactly as stated on the data sheet
Check
• Dose and route of administration i.e. intra muscular or sub-cutaneous
• Interval between doses
• Can be administered at the same time as other medicines

3. Make sure immunity is established by vaccination before the onset of the risk period for the disease and lasts for the necessary time
• It takes from a few days to a month for protection to become established

4. Successful vaccination relies on the animals immune system responding to the vaccine
• Avoid vaccinating sick or stressed animals
• Are ALL the animals in the group old enough to be vaccinated?

5. Maintain the cold chain from the veterinary practice fridge to the animal
• Vaccines should be transported in cooler bags
• Store on the farm in a functioning fridge before use
• Live vaccines should be used in 1 to 4 hours after mixing the pellet with the liquid vial

6. Check that the vaccine to be used has not gone past it’s expiry date

7. Use clean syringes / equipment and needles
• Calibrate automatic syringes, check for air leaks
• If using a manual syringe, one needle should be left in the vaccine bottle for refilling the syringe and a second needle for injecting the animals

8. RECORD the animal identity, date and vaccine used

9. Discard part used vials of vaccine at the end of the day

10. Remember to forward book in the diary / calendar the booster vaccination or next dose of vaccine as necessary