Drying off dairy cows

Drying off cows must be done with the utmost care and attention. The key considerations for a successful drying-off period are outlined below.

Effective mastitis control

The dry period gives the cow and her udder a chance to recover and repair for the upcoming lactation. It is a crucial time, when new udder infections can occur from the environment, even though clinical signs may not be seen until lactation.

This is also an important time for curing long-term infections, thereby reducing the number of high somatic cell count (SCC) cows and repeat cases of mastitis.

Preparation for drying off

Optimising body condition score, reducing milk yield, calculating optimum dry period length and reviewing dry cow feeding are four key considerations when drying off cows. Find out how to prepare your cattle at this crucial time.

Getting your cows ready for drying off

Making decisions when drying off

There is a lot to consider during the drying-off process, including antibiotics, teat sealants and vaccinations. Find out what to consider and when.

Decision-making when drying off dairy cows

Drying-off protocol

Drying off cows requires a lot of care, time and excellent hygiene. Follow our step-by-step guide.

Protocol for drying off dairy cows

After drying off

The drying-off process lasts until the first lactation after calving. Once dairy cows are dried off, ensure daily post-checks are completed. Find out more about how to care for your cattle after the drying-off period.

Things to consider immediately after drying off cows

Useful links


Monitoring and recording mastitis data in dairy cows

Managing mastitis

Mastitis control plan