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Dairy Team hosted a "Transition Tour"

Posted: June 23, 2014

What better way to get ideas for your dairy's transition cow housing than to tour three farms with a proven track record of successful transition?
John Tyson, Agricultural Engineer & Educator

John Tyson, Agricultural Engineer & Educator

The “transition period” for a dairy cow is roughly defined as the time from 60 days perpartum (before calving) to 21 days postpartum (after calving). During this time animals are going through a multitude of changes biologically, physiologically, and socially. The management and housing of dairy cows during this transition period greatly affects their health and production throughout the entire upcoming lactation. Proper care sets the stage for a successful lactation, and in many ways sets the level of milk production to come.

On June 5, 2014, the Penn State Extension Dairy Team, along with the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP), hosted a “Transition Tour.” There is no better way for one dairy producer to learn than to learn from a fellow dairy producer. That is exactly the intent of tours like this. A bus full of dairy producers from around the state began their tour at the Penn State Dairy Barns, and then continued the tour with additional stops at two Penn State Extension District 13 dairy farms.

Along the way John Tyson, Agricultural Engineer, talked with the group about design criteria used for proper design of transition cow housing. The two leading criteria in design are proper feed space of 30 inches per cow, and enough stall space or bedded area for a clean, dry, comfortable resting area.