Transition & Fresh Cow Monitoring Program

Nutritional and metabolic derangements in late lactation and fresh cows are currently causing significant financial loss. Energy derangements in transition cows can have profound effects on post calving performance in terms of production and future fertility performance. 

The following table outline’s disease target figures for the most common transition / fresh cow disease.

Transition & Fresh Cow       Disease


Estimated cost per case

Clinical Milk Fever



Displaced Abomasum









Clinical Ketosis




Initial results suggest a sub clinical milk fever level of approximately 25%. Studies have suggested a similar figure for the national herd.  This can have serious financial effects in terms of increased involuntary culls, increased death rate, increased mastitis and decreased fertility in affected animals.

Herd monitoring suggests a sub clinical ketosis incidence of 20%. This compares very well with studies in Canada which showed a national disease incidence of ketosis of approximately 50%. Ketosis (Slow Fever) can dramatically affect future fertility performance. Studies have shown on average an extra 70 days open for animals with clinical disease and an increased risk of first ovulation failure post calving resulting in cystic ovarian disease. It also lowers the cows immune system making her more prone to Metritis, Mastitis and general Ill health.

Monitoring services should involve monthly body condition scoring and blood sampling of Dry & Fresh animals to assess BHB (Energy status), Nefa’s (Fat mobilisation) and Urea (Energy & protein relationship).

This can be used in conjunction with ongoing DHHPS service’s to your farms but will provide much more information and allow more regular assessment with data also forwarded to the DHHPS lab to aid in their dietary assessment.

For more information please ask your Vet the next time they are on the farm!


20th December 2011

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