Regardless of system or yield, all dairy herds are going to have some level of ketosis and will need to tackle the problem head on to restore milk production and optimise fertility.
Ketosis occurs when a cow goes into extreme negative energy balance around calving and is forced to mobilise body tissue.
This leads to higher than acceptable blood ketone levels.
These cows are then predisposed to health issues and poor fertility.
Christopher Pennelegion, of Elanco, says getting the issue under control comes back to team work and adopting a holistic approach.
He says: “It is about having a well-rounded prevention plan looking at nutrition, environment and management.
We will always have those outliers, such as sick, old, fat or twin-bearing [SOFT] cows which are at higher risk, and they require specific treatment.”
He says it is important ketosis is not seen as a disease associated with high yielders, as Elanco figures show herds yielding 7,500 litres/cow/ year have a higher incidence (29 per cent) than those of more than 9,500 litres (22 per cent*).
You will also see a restoration in milk which is currently being lost to ketosis.
He reminds farmers of four key areas to think about to control ketosis:
References: Raboisson et al, 2015 and Walsh R.B. et al, 2007
Visit the series home page for more information