Santschi, D. E. and Lefebvre, D. M. 2014. Review: Practical concepts on short dry period management. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 94: 381-390. Increased production of dairy cows over the past years has triggered interest in reviewing optimal duration and management for the dry period. Results from recent studies suggest reduced early lactation negative energy balance, reduced ketosis, improved reproduction and no negative effects on production for multiparous cows. With regard to primiparous cows, production following lactation is reduced, but compensated for by the additional end of lactation milk. Reduced dry period length does not impair udder health, but is associated with increased risk of antibiotic residues in early lactation in the case of an early calving. Although the literature is scarce, calf health and immunity transfer are not affected by a short dry period. The objectives of the present review are to summarize results from recent trials and propose avenues for further research on short dry period management. Precise management conditions as well as specific cow characteristics for which short dry period results are optimized still need to be defined.
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