Home' Northern Outlook : May 18th 2013 Contents 6 May, 2013
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Prepare stock for Gypsy Day
ON THE MOVE: Make sure stock are fit and healthy before this year's Gypsy
•People preparing and
transporting cows should have
the experience and knowledge
to manage the cows' welfare.
•Cows should be fit, healthy
•Cows need to have a body
condition score of three or more
to be in good condition to travel.
•Cows should receive a diet
containing 12 to 20g of dietary
magnesium a day for three days
either side of transport.
•Cows in their last three
months of pregnancy should be
treated with patience and care.
•A feed transition plan will help
the cows adjust their
metabolism to winter grazing
and protect their health.
•Stock should be moved off
green feed for at least four
hours and no more than 12
hours prior to transport to
reduce effluent production --
remember to provide water and
hay, baleage or dry feed during
•Feed and water should be
immediately available to the
animals when they arrive at
Pregnant cows are worth
looking after well, they are a
DAIRY FARMERS planning to
shift stock in the next few weeks
should pay particular attention to
the cows' fitness for transport and
their feed requirements.
The next few weeks is a busy
time for farmers and transport
companies nationwide, shifting
stock between farms, to wintering
or as cull cows, as part of the
industry's annual Gypsy Day
DairyNZ animal husbandry
team leader Nita Harding says
preparing cows for transport
should cover a range of areas,
from the cow's fitness for
transport through to ensuring the
truck is in good order.
Preparing stock for transport
should begin several weeks out --
from booking the transport
provider to ensuring the cows'
feed requirements are met
throughout the transition from
one farm to the other,'' says Nita.
A good place to start is with diet
A feed transition plan should be
in place for cows going onto a new
feed, to ensure the cows adjust to
it over seven to 10 days before. If
you have crop on the milking
platform that was planted for
transitioning, allocate one to two
hours of crop each day, while
grazing pasture, feeding silage
and still milking.
Regardless of feed type, all cows
should receive a diet containing
12 to 20g of dietary magnesium
per day for three days either side
of transport -- if dusting CausMag,
this equates to 80g to 100g/cow/
Stress during transport does
cause blood magnesium levels to
significantly drop. Dusting
pasture with an appropriate
supplement the week before will
build blood levels. Magnesium
bullets should be considered for
cows in late pregnancy, as they
are particularly at-risk.''
On the day of transport, stand
cows off green feed for four to 12
hours before the journey.
They should have access to good
quality hay, baleage or dry feed
Nita advises to use a grazed out
paddock or stand-off pad, rather
than concrete as it gives cows
plenty of space to lie down.
If in doubt about an animal's
fitness for transport, contact your
Have a team member who is
skilled in transporting animals
supervise the process on the day.
Pregnant cows are worth looking
after well, they are a valuable
Regulation changes have also
reduced the weight allowance for
general access vehicles, such as
stock trucks, so farmers may need
to allow for slightly reduced stock
numbers being loaded. The
DairyNZ website has further
information and resources,
including a Checklist for
Transporting Cows. Visit
for more information.
Farmers are also encouraged to
ensure their NAIT requirements
are met, including tags,
registration and recording
movement of cows -- visit
nait.co.nz to find out more.
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