The ‘Goldilocks Diet’: Feeding dry cows just right

Cows entering transition in heavy condition can result in metabolic problems such as fatty liver, ketosis and displaced abomasums after calving. Excess energy in the dry cow diet magnifies these problems. Mistakes in the transition diet affect the bottom line, and diseases during this time can significantly diminish milk output during lactation.

In short, a good transition results in healthy cows, which increases profits. This article describes Dr. James K. Drackley’s Goldilocks diet which has grown in popularity for use during transition.  “The basic concept of the program is that we don’t want to underfeed dry cows relative to their energy requirement, but we definitely don’t want to overfeed them either,” he says. “So not too much, not too little, but just right.”

The technical article appeared in the February 24, 2017 issue of Progressive Dairyman magazine.  The full story may be read at


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