Milk fever prevention
We all strive for peace of mind at calving. And by including X-Zelit into the close up dry cow ration you’ll be along way to your desired goal.
It’s unique calcium –binding properties ensure that cows are already mobilising and absorbing calcium prior to calving. This then reduces the risk of blood calcium levels dipping at calving a period of high demand. The benefits of X-Zelit® go far beyond milk fever prevention. It promotes high feed intakes therefore cows have more energy. This in-turn reduces incidences of associated metabolic disorders i.e. displaced abomasum and metritis.
Herds people have experienced increased appetites and improved health, fertility and performance, as a result.
X-Zelit® is simple to feed, flexible to use and extremely effective.
Calcium demand at calving
During the first 6/8 weeks of pregnancy, most dry cow diets contain more calcium than is required by the animal, consequently the cow is only passively absorbing calcium.
However at calving there is a sudden demand for calcium for colostrum production and muscle contractions. The calcium required by the cow cannot be met by passive absorption alone. Active calcium mobilisation (from bones and body reserves) and absorption (in the small intestine) is required to meet the demand. However it takes between 24/48 hours for the conversion to active absorption. Consequently there is always a drop in calcium levels around calving. If calcium levels fall too low the cows will go down with milk fever (Hypocalcaemia).
The incidences of milk fever in UK herds is 7-10%.
Treating milk fever
Intravenous calcium (IV) will provide a quick response to clinical cases of milk fever. This however can shut down the cows own ability to mobilise calcium required at this critical time, as well as taking time and costing money. Cows that are treated for milk fever often suffer a hypercalcaemic relapse 12 to 18 hours later. Other treatments include both subcutaneous and oral calcium supplementation around calving time but absorption can be poor. Energy drenches can be used to provide a quick response to energy deficiency. However neither of these offer a preventative effect and both are poor at reducing subclinical hypocalcaemia.
Prevention is the best option. Prevention is always better than the cure!
Cases of milk fever both clinical and sub-clinical and consequential metabolic disorders are mainly related to the cows diet. The key is to maintain feed intake and rumen function pre and post calving.
An alternative prevention strategy to operating the well known DCAB systems is to include X-Zelit® in the dry cow ration 14 days prior to calving.
X-Zelit® is a calcium-binder which binds the calcium present in the cows ration. This stimulates the cows hormonal system to actively absorb and mobilise calcium to ensure the cow is “fired up” at the time of calving. Cows are subsequently more energetic with higher intakes and are “ready to go” when they calve. They are less likely to fall into energy deficit and suffer fewer metabolic issues.
Our dry cow ranges
We are delighted to include X-Zelit in our MF Eliminator range. Fed at a rate of 2.5kg/day this range contains a fully balanced supply of pre-calving minerals and can be fed in a TMR or top -dressed on forages.
For more information on our range of dry cow feeds, contact us today.