Prioritise quick cow recovery

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Correct rehydration post-calving is crucial to support quick cow recovery. Therefore, the importance of administering a balanced rehydration supplement, immediately after calving should not be over looked.

“Calving is an extremely stressful time for the cow. Hormonal, dietary and environmental changes mean cows are exposed to more stress factors than usual,” explains Nettex technical manager, Nia Williams.

“This, combined with the limited fluid intake during the calving process, exposes the cow to a greater risk of post-calving problems such as a displaced abomasum (DA), retained placenta, milk fever and ketosis which can all affect overall performance and productivity,” she says.

On average, 7% of the herd are likely to suffer from milk fever, costing an average of £220 per cow to treat. Likewise, an average of 4% of the herd are likely to suffer from ketosis, and 3% DA, costing £100 and £208 per cow to treat, respectively.

“The loss of productivity, combined with the added labour and time required to deal with sick cows means that these costs are likely to be the bare minimum when dealing with post-calving issues,” says Mrs Williams.

“However, they can easily be avoided by providing a balanced rehydration supplement immediately post-calving,” she adds.

With this in mind, Nettex has introduced a new, palatable rehydration product to the market to help support quick cow recovery. “Nettex Fresh Calver is an oral supplement, specially formulated to include calcium propionate, a palatable form of calcium that also acts as an energy precursor; glucose as an energy source; and electrolytes to reverse the effects of dehydration during calving.

“A 1kg, individual cow sachet of Nettex Fresh Calver is formulated to easily dissolve in 15 to 20 litres of warm water, to make a palatable drink that I’d advise giving to all cows immediately post-calving, to take advantage of the initial period when they are most likely to eat and drink.

“Ensuring fluid intakes replace what is lost during calving, while supplying the correct balance of glucose, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals, will help mitigate the risk of post-calving problems, ensuring cow performance is optimised and key calving issues addressed.

“Ideally, I’d like to see a balanced rehydration supplement administered to each cow after calving, as part of the overall post-calving routine to help support quick cow recovery,” adds Mrs Williams.