Care and Management of Dry animals (Dry cows and buffaloes) :
The day from which the cow stops giving milk to the day it calves next can be considered a dry period. The dry cow does not give milk but it is pregnant. In abnormal cases (Infertility) the dry cows may be non- pregnant.
The importance of dry period is to give rest the cow’s udder. It also gives an opportunity to the cow/buffaloes to recuperate its body condition lost during the lactation. Allowing dairy cows a dry period thus results in higher milk production in the succeeding lactation.
A. Feeding :
1. The feeding of the dry- pregnant cow should be aimed at making up the condition of the cow lost during the lactation. Cows that have been properly fed during the dry period produce up to 25 percent more milk than the cows which have not been conditioned.
2. The dry animals need to be fed maintenance ration.
3. Green maize, good quality sorghum, straw, stovers with groundnut cake or mustard or linseed cake should provided to dry pregnant animals.
4. Dry- pregnant animals will require additional nutrients to support the fast growth of the fetus which takes place in the last quarter of pregnancy. So, extra quantities of concentrates should be provided during the last quarter of pregnancy in addition to maintenance ration.
5. During the last days, about 20 to 30 kg of live weiğht is increased in pregnant animals depending upon the breed, feeding, and management. The protein requirement in pregnancy is more than that of the energy requirements. Normally 50% DCP and25% of TDN of the maintenance requirements are fulfilled by feeding an additional quantity of 1 to 1.5 kg.concentrate mixture over the maintenance ration.
6. Down calver must get larger doses of vitamin D from 4 to 5 days
before calving to prevent milk fever after parturition.
The dry animals should be housed in a comfortable paddock at a lesser stocking rate than for the milch or growing stock; so that rushing at feeding time with resultant accidents is avoided.
About 15 days before the expected date of calving the dry pregnant cows and buffaloes should be transferred to calving pens for better care and feeding.
Flooring of the pen should be non slippery. It should be clean. well ventilated and disinfected.
1. Dry – pregnant animals should be kindly treated.
2 Must not be taken for walk to long distances.
3. Animals should not be frightened or allowed to fight with other animals.
4. Offer water at least twice a day for drinking and groomed daily.
5.Provide limited amount of exercise to maintain better appetite and little more thrifty and to remove stiffness of limb.
6.Spraying of insecticide should be done in shed and on animal body, for controlling ectoparasitic infestation.