Dairy Australia - Dairy information for Australian Dairy Farmers and the industry

Primary content

80% of cow health problems happen around the time of calving. Providing the right nutrition prior to calving can greatly improve calving ease, cow and calf welfare, milk production and reproductive performance.

Transition cow management

When Transitional Cow Management (TCM) practices improve, farmers can expect increases in milk production and cow fertility, along with reduced costs caused by cow health problems, such as milk fever.  

Dairy Australia offers courses and workshops on Transition Cow Management. These include:

Low stress calving discussion module

An on-farm day held at a host farm, explore the logistics involved in implementing an effective transition cow program. Contact your RDP to register for the next session.

Transition Cow Management workshop

This day covers the best practices of lead feeding. Participants understand the massive benefits lead feeding provides via improved cow survival, reproductive performance and cow production. For example, a transition feeding program costs between $20 - $60 per cow but returns up to $200 per cow.

During the day, participants will learn why lead feeding works and what needs to be considered when improving their lead feeding regime. Contact your RDP to register for the workshop.

InCharge dairy reproduction course

This is a course for dairy owners, share-farmers, managers and service providers that runs over a 5 week period with participants meeting 1 day per week. It involves 2 days of on-farm discussion group learning and 3 days of classroom theory learning to produce a reproductive management plan for your herd.

What you'll learn on the program:

Day 1 - On farm
This day demonstrates the impact reproductive performance has on the operation of a farm. Participants look how reproduction performance can be used to exploit the natural characteristics of a farm, and consider how manipulation of reproductive performance can assist in achieving farmers goals.

Day 2 - Classroom
Participants look at how submission rates, heat detection, conception rates and calving pattern affect herd reproductive performance.

Day 3 - Classroom
Synchrony programs, bull fertility, replacement heifers and cow health are topics addressed on this day.

Day 4 - Classroom
This day is devoted to transition cow management.

Day 5 - On farm
On this day, participants put the knowledge that they have learnt through the course into practice. They analyse the farm's past reproductive performance, and look for opportunities for improvement. Genetics and body condition scoring are also covered on this day

Contact your RDP to learn more and sign-up.

RDP Contacts


Dairy NSW
tel: 1800 270 778

Western Dairy

Western Dairy
tel: 0429 110 485

Murray Dairy

Murray Dairy
tel: 583 35312

WestVic Dairy

WestVic Dairy
tel: 555 71000

GippsDairy GippsDairy
tel: 562 43900
Subtropical Dairy Subtropical Dairy
tel: 0431 197 479
DairyTas DairyTas
tel: 643 22233
DairySA DairySA
tel: 0438 262 966

More information and expert advice

An introduction to transition cow management booklet (PDF, 1.7MB)

This booklet describes the benefits of a successful transition feeding program as well as the logistics involved in implementing it. You will also learn some tips to find out if your program is working.

Transition Cow Mangement adviser list (PDF, 213KB)

Contact an adviser trained by Dairy Australia in Transition Cow Management.

Checklist for Transition Cow Management (PDF, 47KB)

This checklist includes information on springer paddock/feedpads, mastitis risk management, safety, feeding infrastructure and management, people resourcing, and safety and monitoring.

Transition program review sheet (PDF, 48KB)

How well has the transition program implemented on this farm performed? What changes need to be made?
Use this review sheet to enter the result achieved for each of the key parameters and compare it to the target.

Transition cow management - a review for nutritional professionals, veterinarians, and farm advisers (PDF, 1984KB)

The most extensive review of transition cow management ever undertaken, drawing on more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

It provides an up-to-date technical resource for nutritional professionals, veterinarians and farm advisers on the many aspects of transition cow management, and serves as the technical foundation for additional adviser and farmer information resources being developed by Grains2Milk and InCalf.

Tally sheet - Cow health problems at calving (PDF, 49KB)

Transition diet milk fever risk calculator

Also visit our pages on Body condition scoring.


Our Farm, Our Plan

Our Farm, Our Plan is a new program designed to equip farmers to clarify their long term goals, identify the actions needed and to manage uncertainty and risk.

Hay and grain reports

The hay and grain report is commissioned by Dairy Australia to provide an independent and timely assessment of hay and grain markets in each dairying region. The report is updated 40 weeks per year.

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