Who Let the Dogma Out of Transition Cow Management, Dr. Baumgard, Iowa State University

Posted: Juni 27, 2023

Podcast Topic

Our Real Science Exchange pubcast always has leading scientists and industry professionals discussing the latest ideas and trends, and tonight we have two very well-known guests. Dr. Lance Baumgard and Dr. Jim Drackley join us to discuss cow management and the dogma that has developed over the years.


Dr. Baumgard, Iowa State University and Dr. Jim Drackley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Episode 73: Who Let the Dogma Out of Transition Cow Management


Dr. Baumgard kicks off by explaining the dogma of the transition period – two metabolites reduce the animal’s immune system and predispose them to health disorders. (5:38)

Dr. Drackley continued by saying he was influenced by research that could show in a clinical case of ketosis, there is an underlying subclinical, perhaps inflammatory pressure, causing the problem. (20:39)

Dr. Baumgard mentioned utilizing ketones comes at a metabolic disadvantage: a loss of energy. So what could cows be doing if they’re able to increase their feed intake enough so they don’t have to make ketones? (27:18)

Dr. Drackley said the million-dollar question is if inflammation is the key, what do we do about it? How do we prevent it or treat it? (31:38)

Dr. Baumgard explained his thought process is that if even healthy cows have some level of immune activation going on in the transition period, some of this subclinical hypocalcemia that’s occurring in the transition period could be caused by immune activation. (43:50)

Dr. Drackley said as we select for high-milk production, perhaps part of that is enhanced ability to use ketones. The idea of a tenant of high milk production is you’ve got the time of lower insulin and high growth hormone driving lactation. Those are all tied up with genetic selection. (46:40)

Dr. Baumgard wrapped up by saying from a producer or veterinarian perspective, it’s easy to treat and get out, but what really needs to take place is a full examination; where did this immune activation come from? (54:56)

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