Control of ketosis in the periparturient dairy cow
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Ketosis is a common ailment of the high producing dairy cow during lactation. From studying literature and texts, it is a recognised metabolic disease of cows during, and resulting from, the transition period. A number of animals could be suffering from subclinical ketosis without the farmer being aware of the problem. Implementation of affective management and nutrition plans can significantly reduce the number of cows affected by ketosis. The key in control of the condition is to have cows transitioning as smoothly as possible. Naturally, a cow’s appetite will decrease around parturition, at the same time her energy needs will increase. Maintaining an adequate intake of good quality, highly digestible feedstuffs will help reduce the energy deficit. Ensuring enough trough space and pen area will also reduce competition for food, bullying and stress.