Virbac is offering a new ‘yield wheel’ system to demonstrate how clients can get more milk from their cows without posing risks to the herd’s health. Rather than sticking stringently to strict guidelines, the new system differentiates the standard 60-day dry waiting period for each cow.
Virbac Animal Health has developed a special ‘Yield Wheel’ to show vets the additional income that farmers can achieve through taking a tailored and more flexible approach to the management of their dairy herd through the dry period. This approach, says the company, is facilitated by using its Cephaguard DC dry cow therapy.
While a 60 day drying off period is required for some cows, others may not need to be withdrawn from milk production for the full period, including those with a high body condition score in late lactation, high yielders and older healthy cows with an increased tendency for weight gain. For cows in these categories, a shorter drying off period can mean additional days of milk production and extra income for the farmer with no negative impact on future lactations or the cow’s overall health.
The Yield Wheel shows how production and income can be maximised on a sliding scale from a standard 60 day drying off period down to 36 days, the shortest drying off period. It also shows the benefits which can be gained in terms of reduced discarded milk days in the case of cows with an unclear calving date.
Cephaguard DC dry cow therapy is the most recent entrant to the dry cow therapy market. With its 35+1 day withdrawal period in milk, it offers farmers increased flexibility for the management of dry periods.
Commenting on the Yield Wheel, Brigitte Goasduf, Ruminants Product Manager at Virbac, explained: “For dairy farmers, it’s all about milk. They’re looking to optimise production and reduce waste while also ensuring that they treat infections effectively at drying off and prevent new infections which may reduce yield during the next lactation.
We’ve produced the Yield Wheel to highlight the tangible benefits of taking a customised and more flexible approach to drying off using Cephaguard DC. The data is provided in a practical and straightforward way and demonstrates the potential yield benefits that can be achieved from an overall herd management and income perspective. We hope it will prove a useful tool.”