How a Wisconsin Dairy Raised the Top Milk Producing Cow in the World (Video)

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Scott Pralle and Pam Selz-Pralle shared some insights on what it took to raise their record setting cow, Selz-Pralle Aftershock 3918, during a Virtual Farm Tour hosted at World Dairy Expo.

 “She was sneaky about it,” Pam says. Any day one of the 450 cows at Selz-Pralle Dairy could be milking 150 lb. per day. She says it isn’t unusual to be milking 200 lb. per day from a cow.

“One day Scott came to the house, he said, ‘You know Pam, we've got a cow that's been milking over 200 pounds a day for almost six months,’” Pam recalls.

Scott calls Aftershock an “overachiever” and a “genetic freak.”

“She knows what she’s here to do, she just does it on a daily basis. And she's just a blue collar cow that knows what she’s here to do,” Scott adds.

Selz-Pralle Aftershock 3918 set the world milk production record in 2017 during her fifth lactation. She was milked three-times per day averaging 4.0% butterfat and 3.1% protein. Total butterfat production came to 3,094 lb. and protein reached 2,393 lb. during the lactation period. As a three year-old the cow made approximately 44,000 lb. of milk and nearly 59,000 lb. of milk as four-year-old.

Aftershock had her first health event in her lifetime 167 days into her fifth lactation with a slight mastitis flair up. 

“She's either at the bunk or resting. She's always chewing her cud,” Scott says. Aftershock chews her cud 10 hours per day, roughly 30 minute more than the herd average. 

In 1,862 days of milking Aftershock has averaged 154 lb. of milk per day. 

To produce a top cow like Aftershock, Pam and Scott say there really aren’t any secrets but they offer six simple tips:

Be persnickety
Listen to the cows and minimize their stress
Prevent disease vs treating
Be consistent, don’t take short cuts
Make doing it right every day a habit
Motivate your team to believe in your passion
Selz-Pralle Dairy isn’t home to simply one record setting cow, the farm is known for its genetics producing a Holstein herd with a 30,433-lb. rolling herd average. Cows also yield more than seven lb. combined fat and protein daily.

Longevity and production are a mainstay in the current herd with twenty-five cows that have produced more than 200,000 lb. of milk in their lifetimes.

A few other factors that have contributed to Selz-Pralle Dairy’s success include an activity monitoring and rumination system that has helped drop Ketosis by 65% and reduced antibiotic costs by 50%. Brown mid-rib corn silage has benefited the ration by offering a more palatable and nutritious feed to the cows. Updating the sand bedding to frac-sand not only improved cow comfort, but lowered somatic cell count roughly 100,000 cells/mL.

“I think most importantly, it’s our team at home, our farm staff,” Pam says. She and Scott thanked the team at Selz-Pralle Dairy for their hard work and for watching the farm while they spoke at World Dairy Expo. AGWEB

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