Strategies to prevent ketosis in cows: Minimizing waste in livestock farming

 Wed, 15th Mar, 2023

How to prevent ketosis in cattle

Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body burns fat for energy instead of glucose from carbohydrates. As a result of this, the body produces ketones, which are used as an alternative fuel source. The causes of ketosis are: fasting, low-carbohydrate diets, or certain medical conditions such as diabetes. In livestock farming, ketosis can occur in dairy cows when their energy demands exceed their energy intake. For more information, please read our article 'Ketosis in cattle'.

Strategies to prevent ketosis in cattle

Strategies to prevent ketosis include:

Proper nutrition

  • Provide a well-balanced diet - adequate amounts of digestible carbohydrates, proteins and fat
  • Increase feed intake gradually (dry to lactation period). This can help prevent a negative energy imbalance
  • Ensure cows consume enough dry matter to meet their energy requirements
  • Supplementation with rumen-protected choline

Management practices

Reduce stress. Avoid overstocking and provide clean, comfortable housing.

Early intervention

The early signs of ketosis are a reduced appetite and a decrease in milk production. 

Image thanks to Wolfgang Ehrecke