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Thread: Drying up cows

  1. #1

    Default Drying up cows

    I have seen drying up cows one of two main ways.
    One way is to dry them up 2 months prior to calving and using tomorrow.
    The other way is to "wean" them off milk by milking them once a day for a few days, then once every other day then dry treat and sometimes, they will only use orbeseal and no tomorrow.

    Which method is best? Weaning them off milk can maybe allow you to milk the cow longer without harming calf development, therefore more milk/money, but the cow can see a small rise in scc. Skipping the cow also means making and keeping a schedule for when she gets milked and when she gets skipped.
    Which one is more economical and better for herd health.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    NW Corner of Ohio


    Hey Ryan,

    Where I work we do it both ways, depending on how much milk the cow is giving. Some cows have almost dried themselves off at the end of their lactation, so we just skip a milking or two and treat them. Other cows need almost a week of once a day milking to get to the treatment stage. Everybody gets treated though.

    We do it that way for the cow more than economics, kind of like hitting a brick wall at 10 mph vs 50.

    It's one of the advantages of a 50 cow dairy, we know the cows so we can give them individual attention.

    I'm sure others do it differently, but that works for us.

    Welcome to the forum, I think your dad was a couple years behind me in high school. I used to run around with your uncle's when I was younger (before I/we were domesticated).


  3. #3


    We do not milk anymore, my uncles just grain farm. I am working at a local dairy and majoring in animal science at college.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Tasmania, Australia where the grass is always green


    Depends on the individual cows production level, for us if she is still producing >12l per day and is nearing 2 months to calving, we tend to limit any protein in her feed and tend to feed straw and crash her milk production. Anything <12l per day we intramammary dry cow therapy and teat seal on the spot. In my opinion, skipping milking on a low production cow can tend to cause damage as the teat orifice tends to start sealing for the dry cow process. Skipping milking with a high production cow can mean her orifice is open with milk dripping allowing pathogens to enter the udder - especially in dirty areas. We tend to work with that methodology and treat with dry cow and teat seal straight after the cups come off and the teat orifice is still open.

  5. #5


    What we do with the high production cows is put them into the dry pen until her next milking so all she'll get is mostly hay silage, baled hay, and some corn silage. No grain. When you milk 3 times a day, some cows have trouble drying off, and like you two said, lower producing cows can pretty much dry themselves up.

  6. #6


    We typically milk once a day, depending on production when this starts. Some cows dry themselves up early and easy, some don't. I don't dry treat unless there is a issue, witch I very very rarely have a problem

    Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012


    I put them in the dry cow freestalls and milk once per day until production has dropped. with the robots you can also milk her every 18 hours at first and then slowly extend the interval. After she's milked the robot sorts her out again and she goes back in the dry freestalls. This works well, especially when some cows are giving 30 Liters (66lbs) at 225 Days carrying calf.

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