The first weeks of working with an electronic animal monitoring system is a period of discovery for farm employees. They continue to use the pre-monitoring system protocols alongside the animal behavior data generated by the monitoring system. This is typically an opportunity not only to find sick cows before clinical symptoms appear, but to also assess treatment effectiveness and treatment protocols.
One of the more interesting discoveries that becomes apparent is that some cows, despite showing severe clinical symptoms, are not significantly affected by their health issue and can be left without treatment to recover on their own. This enables a reduction in veterinary drug use, employees to attend to other tasks, and a reduction in cow stress levels.
Much like humans who respond to similar health issues differently, it appears that some cows are more resilient than others and can get healthy on their own.
Cow 3041 is a 4th lactation cow from a Wisconsin dairy.
“Cow 3041’s clearly had metritis” reports the herd manager, “she had a smelly discharge. Our veterinarian told me to start treatment on her, but I decided not to treat her.”
Cow 3041 rumination graph showing a good recovery from calving, without health events and a first heat at 14 DIM.
The herd manager showed cow 3041’s rumination graph (above).
“I could tell she was eating and increasing her intake each day until day four when she reached 600 rumination minutes per day. From my experience I knew that she’s feeling fine. No need to spend $30 on drugs.”
Cow 3041 milk yield graph showing her at 118 lbs at 35 DIM.
Was this the right decision?
Cow 3041 showed her first heat on the 14th day of her lactation and today, at 33 DIM, she is producing 118 lbs. of milk.
It looks like it was the right decision!
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