Transition Cow Nutrition Effective in Managing Hypocalcemia

The benefits of maintaining adequate blood calcium in transition cows are well-documented, including reduced incidence of disease, higher milk production and better reproduction.

Clinical milk fever (hypocalcemia) occurs in only 2% to 5% of transition dairy cows. A bigger, hidden risk is subclinical hypocalcemia, or low blood calcium without obvious signs of milk fever. It is estimated that on a typical farm, the incidence rate of subclinical hypocalcemia is 15 times higher than milk fever and can cause up to four times the economic loss.

Animate, from Prince Agri Products Inc., is a unique, anionic mineral supplement that can help to reduce the risk of low blood calcium in fresh cows. Since it is highly palatable, it can help attain a low dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) diet while maintaining high dry matter intakes.

California dairy sees reduced milk fever

DaSilva Dairy Farms, a 2,500-cow herd at three locations in Escalon, Calif., has seen encouraging improvement in the health of its close-up cows since introducing Animate into their rations in February of this year.

Dairy partner, Paul DaSilva, said feeding Animate helped to lower the DCAD diet, maintain proper blood calcium levels and virtually eliminate the incidence of milk fever during the first 90 days. The dairy also experienced no lost calves within the first three weeks of life, which had been an issue previously. “With healthier cows comes healthier calves and higher quality milk,” he said.

DaSilva also credits the blood calcium analysis and dairy technical expertise provided by Prince Agri Products Inc. to help assess and provide recommendations for improving his herd health. “They provided a complete package,” he said. “I’m really happy with the overall team effort.”

Paul DaSilva has seen improvement in the health of close-up cows by feeding Animate anionic mineral supplement on his California dairy farms.

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