Dry Cow Feeding and Management
Proper dry cow nutrition and management is critical, since decisions made during this period will have a tremendous impact on milk production and health during the next lactation. The purpose of a dry period is to allow the cow's udder an opportunity to regenerate secretory tissue and to allow the digestive system to recover from the stress of high levels of feed intake. The recommended method of drying off is to stop milking the cow abruptly. Cows should not be milked partially for several days or milked every other day as a means to dry off. This practice will actually prolong the drying off process and may increase the incidence of mastitis.