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Fresh Cow Summary Block AFresh Cow Summary Block B
Fresh Cow Summary Block CFresh Cow Summary Block D

Understanding the Fresh Cow Summary
Block A
Transition Cow Index® (TCI®) With 30 Day Averages

  • This block contains the patented Transition Cow Index (TCI) developed by Ken Nordlund, DVM of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.
  • TCI compares your herd's fresh cow performance to an industry standard and also allows you to make month-to-month comparisons. TCI is also a fresh cow health monitor. Herds with few health problems before, during and after calving will exceed first test day production expectations and consequently have higher TCIs than herds with problems in these areas. If the herd's metabolic or infection status changes enough to effect production, TCI will reflect these changes.
  • TCI is only calculated for cows having completed a lactation.
  • Using data from over 190,000 AgSource cows, the School of Veterinary Medicine researchers developed an equation to calculate an expected 305-day production in the next lactation for each cow in your herd. The 305-day milk production total from each cow's prior lactation is the most important factor in this calculation, along with the lactation number, age, milking frequency, breed, days dry, BST use over the past year, month of calving, and seven other factors.
  • After her first test day, AgSource calculates an actual projected 305-day production for this lactation. The difference between the actual projection and the expected 305-day prediction is her Transition Cow Index. For example, if a cow has an expected 305-day prediction of 30,000 pounds of milk and she starts her lactation very well and has a first projection of 32,000 pounds, her TCI is +2,000 pounds.
  • Each dot on the graph represents a cow's TCI. Dots on the far right represent cows that had their first test day of this lactation in the current month.
  • Previous month's dots represent the TCI of cows that had their first test day in the prior month.
  • Cows that are 5 to 40 days in milk are used in the TCI calculation.  If you test intermittently, animals that are past 40 days in milk will not be included in the TCI calculation.  Having significant numbers of cows dropping out of the TCI calculation will lower the value of your Transition Cow Index averages.
  • Only the first test day is used in the calculation. If a cow is tested at 5 and again at 35 days in milk, only the 5 days in milk test day data is utilized.
  • AgSource produces different graphs based on herd size. For example, the blue numbers above the graph in Box A summarize the TCI of your fresh cows over time. If you have 250 or more cows on your production report, the blue numbers at the top of your graph are Monthly Averages.
  • If you have less than 250 cows, the blue numbers represent a rolling 90-day average of your herd's TCI. On your January report, the number on the far right will include cows that calved in November, December and January. The far right number on your February report will include TCIs on cows that freshened in December, January and February.  The red line on the graph reflects these averages.  By including TCI values over the previous 90 days, there usually will be enough cows in each calculation to give you a meaningful average.
  • The "Average TCI Past Year" value is the measure of the effectiveness of your herd's transition program over the last twelve months.  You can compare your herd to Industry Benchmarks of Annual Average TCI at the bottom of the block.
  • Each additional pound of TCI is associated with 0.00265% increase in lactation survival rate.  In other words, an increase of 1,000 pounds of TCI reduces the herd's turnover rate by 2.65%.
  • Each additional pound of TCI is associated with an extra 1.27 pounds of milk in the remainder of the lactation.

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Understanding the Fresh Cow Summary
Block B
Ratio of First Test Fat% to Protein% (FPR)

  • Data in this block indicates if your early lactation cows are at unusual risk of metabolic disease problems.  Each dot in the graph represents the ratio of milk fat % divided by milk protein % (FPR) at the first test after freshening (5 to 40 days in milk).
  • Red dots are first lactation cows. Blue dots are second lactation and greater cows.  Annual percent First Test FPR greater than 1.4 are provided for first lactation cows and second and greater.  There may be significant differences between these groups in the same herd.
  • If over 40 percent of first test cows have a FPR greater than 1.4, the transition management program present risks for ketosis, displaced abomasa and fatty liver disease.  Obviously, these problems can adversely affect your herd's TCI.
  • The percentages on the top of the graph represent monthly averages.  You can use these to track progress over the past year.  You can also compare your herd to industry benchmarks at the bottom of the block.
  • Although a cow may be 300 days in milk, the value plotted represents her First Test FPR that was collected about 10 months ago. This allows you to track fresh cow ketosis risk in the herd over the past year.
  • This graph is based on research published in "Herd Level Indicators for the Prediction of High-Risk Dairy Herds for Subclinical Ketosis", Todd Duffield, DVM, et.al Dept of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, Univ of Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G2W1 The AABP Proceedings-Vol. 35 Sept. 2002.

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Understanding the Fresh Cow Summary
Block C
Dry Cow & Heifer Udder Infection Summary

  • Besides metabolic problems, the other major challenge in fresh cow management is bacteriological infections, of which mastitis is a major component.  This block summarizes the mastitis status of cows during the dry period and the status of replacement heifers entering the herd.
  • "Heifers, infected at first test" measures the number of first lactation heifers having a SCC higher than 200,000 on their first test (5 to 40 days after calving).
  • "Cows, new infections during dry period" had an SCC of less than 200,000 on the last test of their previous lactation and were over 200,000 on their first test of this lactation. 
  • "Dry cow cures" are cows over 200,000 on their last test of the previous lactation and under that level on their first test of this lactation.
  • Industry benchmarks are provided at the bottom of the block.

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Understanding the Fresh Cow Summary
Block D
Cows Leaving the Herd at Less Than 60 DIM

  • Cows leaving the herd in the first 60 DIM represent a significant financial loss.  Monitoring and limiting these losses is an important function of fresh cow management.  Also, herds with lower removal in the first 60 DIM tend to have lower overall turnover than herd's with higher early lactation removals.
  • The red sections of the bars represent first lactation cows and the blue sections represent second and greater lactation animals. The graph includes cows leaving the herd that died or were sold for reasons other than dairy.
  • The numbers at the top of the graph are "Number of animals in the first 60 DIM leaving the herd in this 60 day period" of "Number of animals freshening in this 60 day period".

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