Metritis can cost a large dairy herd nearly $80,000 a year in culled cows, lost milk and reproductive losses, said Michael Overton of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia and John Fetrow of the University of Minnesota, in a paper given to the 2008 Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council convention in Omaha, Nebraska.
The study found these costs for each case of metritis:
• Culling in first 60 days in milk (DIM) – $85.
• Milk loss – $83.
• Reproductive problems – $109.
• Treatment – ranges from $53 to $109.
Depending on the treatment used, the authors estimated the cost per case to range from $358 to $386.
The average risk of metritis in a dairy herd is 10% but can run as high as 30%.
Overton and Fetrow looked at the economics of metritis by studying a large California herd with 500 cows that were diagnosed with metritis in the first 10 DIM. They concluded that a 1,000-cow herd with a 22% incidence of metritis can lose $79,000 a year. In today’s economic climate, that makes it well worth your while to pay close attention to transition cow management.