Selective dry cow therapy and the influence of milk yield at drying-off under Dutch practical circumstances
Berg, M.M. van den
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Cows need a dry period prior to the next lactation to achieve a maximal milk production in the subsequent lactation. The dry period is also an important period in the udder health status of the cow. The introduction of the antibiotic dry cow therapy (ADCT) improved the udder health status since the sixties. Nowadays the use of antibiotics in the livestock industry is criticized due to human and veterinarian antibiotic resistance issues. One way to reduce the use of antibiotics is to start a selective dry cow therapy (SDCT). In this study the use of a SDCT was tested on eight Dutch farms in the province Utrecht. Only 49,5% of the first selected cows passed all the selection criteria. During this study no significant differences between a blanket ADCT and a SDCT were observed. Moreover, no correlation between milk yield prior to drying-off and the first known somatic cell count (SCC) after parturition was observed during this study. Every farmer should consider SDCT instead of blanket ADCT and evaluate this choice periodically. The choice of a SDCT instead of an ADCT should also be made farm-specific. Risk factors in udder health during the dry period should be optimized or be as favorable as possible to achieve the best result.