The metabolic issues. Trying to manage her metabolism as she goes through that whole transition of low dry matter intake to high dry matter intake and the changes in the diet and the changes in her whole body getting ready to lactate. To go from gestation to lactation, that whole metabolic process, is so dynamic that if one little thing goes wrong, it can affect her whole lactation. Andy Skidmore Intervet Schering-Plough Animal Health Livestock Tech Service Manager Alexander, New York


If you look at the transition period, I would say the biggest challenge that most of my clients have is having adequate facilities for that group of cattle so we can address their nutritional and housing needs for cow comfort. Seems like everybody plans that particular area for the average time of the year. Of course, usually at least 4-5 months out of every year they are overpopulated.

Don Gardner
Gardner Custom Heifer Raising
Huddleston, Virginia


I think one of the most challenging things producers often have is managing the cow flow through the transition area. We oftentimes plan on a steady flow and find out that we have lots of animals coming through because of catch-breeding in the fall. Then the question is: What do you do with all of those animals? Do you move them out more quickly? Do you live with the results of overcrowding and the consequences thereof? That is probably one of the tougher ones; there is no easy answer. You get too many animals going through at one time, where do you put them all?

Jerry Olson
Pfizer Animal Health
Senior Veterinarian
Fort Collins, Colorado


Anything that is reproduction. So if we can get cows bred on time at first service, then we think we can beat a lot of the transition and metabolic problems that we have later on.

Bob Vlietstra
West Michigan Veterinary Service
Zeeland, Michigan