The data provides information on feeding as well as possible optimisation approaches. It is also useful for monitoring the metabolism in individual animals and the herd as a whole. Of course, the data also provides information on the herd’s productivity and records the current level of performance. Cell counts and fertility information also provide important information for herd management.

Milk per cow and day / course of lactation

When looking at the milk yield value per cow per day, the way this value in the current test looks compared to the previous month or months is crucial. The expected lactation yield is approximately 240 times the average daily output of the first two to three tests.
Then consider, are there factors or possibly a major factor that could limit the herd’s productivity? It is also necessary to check how the effects of changes can be documented.

Nutrients found in milk

The nutrients and their relationship to each other are indicators to assess rumen function and health. When assessing individual animals, it is important to always observe the stage of lactation in parallel in order to assess the values correctly.

Protein content

The protein content provides information about the animals’ energy supply. If the protein content is low, the available energy for microbial protein synthesis in the rumen is too low. If the protein content is too low, it is advisable to check the supply of easily soluble carbohydrates and protein digestibility. Furthermore, feeding Undegradable Dietary Protein (UDP) can influence the protein content of the milk.

JOSERA glas of milk

Fat content of the milk

The fat content reflects the animals’ supply of energy and structured crude fibre. If the fat content is low, the fibre supply should be checked. The quality of silage and the water supply should also be assessed in more detail. Even poor fermentation or inadequate water supply can have an effect on the fat content.
If the fat content rises above five percent within the first 60 days of lactation, it may be an indication of ketosis

Fat-to-protein ratio

The optimum range for this value is between 1.1 and 1.5. If it is below 1.0, the animal should be checked for acidotic metabolism. If a larger proportion of the population (15-20% of the animals) present this value, acidosis can be considered as a population-wide problem. If the fat-to-protein ratio exceeds 1.5, the affected animals should be examined for a ketogenic metabolic state.

Urea report

The milk urea report shows the protein supply (RNB) in relation to the energy supply. A well-adjusted urea content should be between 150 and 300 mg/l of milk. A content between 200 and 250 mg/l is considered ideal. Further information regarding the milk urea content in connection with the protein content can be found in Table 1.

Protein %urea (mg/l)Protein and energy supplyPossible consequences
< 3,3< 150Energy and crude protein deficiencyLiver strain, ketosis, fertility disorders
150 – 300Feed intake that is too lowHoof problems, urine drinking, milk yield loss, increased cell counts, liver strain
> 300Energy deficiency and protein surplusLiver strain, fertility disorders, hoof problems
3,3 – 3,8< 150Crude protein deficiencyFertility disorders (ovary), milk yield losses, increased cell counts
150 – 300Feeding alright
> 300Crude protein excessFertility disorders (cysts), liver strain
> 3,8< 150Energy surplus and crude protein deficiencyRisk of fatty degeneration, fatty faeces, milk yield loss, difficult calving, acetonemia, increased cell counts, fertility disorders
150 – 300Energy excessRisk of fatty degeneration, fatty faeces, milk yield loss, difficult calving, acetonemia, increased cell counts, fertility disorders
> 300Energy excess and crude protein excessDelayed retraction of the uterus, metritis, udder oedema, fertility disorder (ovary), liver strain, reduced appetite

Table 1: Effect of different milk protein and urea values

Cell counts

A decisive parameter for the quality of the milk is the content of somatic cells. Cell counts can also be used to assess the udder health of a herd. If your herd has cell counts of <150,000, it is classified as having healthy udders.


Desirable fertility targets can be found in Table 2:

Parameters for female fertilityTarget value (in days)
Interim period between two calvings365
Average lactation days170 – 185
Days open: days between calving and new pregnancy70 – 90 (max 100)
Target value absolute
Insemination index: number of inseminations per pregnancy < 1,6> 1,6
Target value (in %)
Heat detection: detected heat (whether inseminated or not) between the 45th and 65th day after calving> 80
Conception rate40
Pregnancy rate> 20
Successful first insemination40

Departure rates and stock additions

High departure rates lead to higher production costs and thus the profit for each farmer decreases. Data of the state control association usually indicate the number of animals that have left the population. In order to interpret this data correctly, it is necessary to record departure causes and dates. This is the only way to quickly uncover problem areas in the farm.
The goal is a restocking rate of 25 to 30%.


A dairy herd’s yield data is an important tool for every farm manager to assess their herd!

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