Franklin Vets Blog

Drying off and achieving target BCS

April 5, 2021

We know that individual cow body condition impacts reproductive performance. Achieving body condition score at dry offAchieving a target BCS of 5.0 for mixed age cows, and 5.5 for first and second calvers, at calving is a key driver of future reproductive performance. Cows that calve below these targets generally take longer to start cycling after calving. This can reduce the submission rate and conception rate leading to a lower 6-week in-calf rate.

Picking a dry-off date for individual cows to achieve target BCS at calving depends on how much condition needs to be gained, the expected calving date, and the quality and quantity of feed available. Consideration may also need to be given to milk volume, individual somatic cell count (ISCC) and bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC). Chasing production targets with the relatively small volume of milk produced at this stage of the season can risk the next lactation’s performance.

Your local Franklin Vets team offers condition scoring services and have people with the tools and experience to assist you with your dry-off decisions. Talk to us today and get your herd set up to achieve success next season.

Dr Quirien Cowie BVSc