Preserving Beef Quality in Dairy Cows

Cindy ZimmermanAnimal Health, Beef, Boehringer Ingelheim

Dairy producers are beef producers too and they should always keep that in mind with their production practices.

“At this point, most dairy producers do not think of themselves as beef producers,” says Dr. Linda Tikofsky, Professional Services Veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc (BIVI). “Dairymen know they ship cull cows for beef, but I don’t think they recognize the impact some of their dairy practices have on beef quality in the long run.”

Many common practices, while effective for milk quality and production, can cause a reduction in beef quality once a cull cow arrives at a packinghouse. The long-term effects of some of these practices cause the dairy cull cows to be flagged for further examination at the packinghouse, leading to fines and loss in value for dairy producers.

“If we’re marketing them later, after we’ve treated them a number of times or after they’ve lost a significant amount of body condition, the cows are much more likely to be flagged for additional review and receive more scrutiny,” says Dr. Tikofsky.

Watch this video with Dr. Tikofsky where she outlines steps to help preserve beef quality throughout a dairy cow’s life:

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