Managing dry cows in the dairy herd

Dry cows must be carefully managed to avoid mastitis and ensure that they return to optimum lactation after the dry period. Find out how to monitor your herd during this time.

Why is the dry period important?

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 from the environment can occur, even though clinical signs may not be seen until lactation.

The dry period is important for curing long-term infections, thereby reducing the number of high somatic cell count (SCC) cows and cows with repeat cases of mastitis.

Feeding dry cows

Dry cow feeding influences the cow’s immune status and her ability to remain free from mastitis infections. See our dry period timeline and find out how to optimise your feeding area.

Managing dry cow feeding

Dry cows at pasture

Time at pasture increases a cow’s exposure to mastitis-causing bacteria, so managing that time is very important to prevent infections.

Find out how to manage dry cows at pasture

Dry cow housing

Read more about how the management of dry cow housing, from ventilation to slurry removal, can help avoid injury, infection and mastitis.

Dry cow housing

Useful links


Monitoring and recording mastitis data in dairy cows