This research communication describes (1) the comparison of acute-phase protein (APP) concentrations in transition dairy cows on different farms using both pooled and individual blood samples, and (2) the association among different APP and clinical health parameters. The first hypothesis was that early postpartum dairy cows from different farms differ in the level of inflammation, which might be determined using APP assays in both pooled and individual blood samples. The second hypothesis was that the APP haptoglobin (Hp) might be the most sensitive parameter to detect cows at risk of excessive postpartum inflammation concomitant with systemic disease. Serum concentrations of Hp, serum amyloid-A (SAA), total protein (TP), albumin (Alb), coeruloplasmin (Cp) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in 100 fresh lactating cows (within 0–8 d postpartum) from 10 farms were compared and associated to clinical health parameters (rectal body temperature, vaginal discharge (Metricheck™ score), rumen fill, vulvovaginal laceration) using both pooled and individual blood samples. Mean serum concentrations of Hp, SAA and TP revealed significant differences among farms. Pooled serum samples of farms showed high correlations with the mean of individual samples. Only Hp was significantly positively correlated to both body temperature and Metricheck™ score. In conclusion, Hp differentiates dairy farms regarding the inflammatory state of transition cows using individual and pooled serum samples within the first week postpartum. It also mirrors the individual degree of inflammation, thus proving to be a diagnostic parameter of high interest during the periparturient period.