Introducing CalFix® to B&W Feeds – reduce the risk of milk fever!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 by

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Introducing CalFix®…the nutritional way to reduce the risk of milk fever

CalFix® is a new and unique dietetic feed technology for dry cows from Trouw Nutrition GB and  offers an innovative way to reduce the risk of clinical and subclinical milk fever while also promoting dry matter intake immediately after calving.  It is being launched following extensive research and is now available through B&W Feeds to be incorporated into a mill and mix ration.

“At calving, cows experience a high spike in demand for calcium at a time when feed intakes are reduced,” explains Adam Clay, Ruminant Manager at Trouw Nutrition GB.  “Unable to meet the demand nutritionally, the cow has to mobilise body reserves.  However, this adaptation process can take several days to reach full efficiency during which time the cow will be deficient in calcium and at risk of milk fever unless she is properly prepared in the transition period.”

Calfix Graph 1 B&WHe comments that published UK research shows that clinical milk fever typically affects 7-10% of cows with up to 60% of cows having sub-clinical symptoms.  Each clinical case has an estimated direct cost of over £300, but cows with milk fever are more prone to other metabolic problems and increased negative energy balance, so improving calcium metabolism will have a substantial productivity and economic benefit.

“Despite our best endeavours to restrict calcium supply, most transition diets typically contain too much calcium.  Trials show that CalFix® effectively reduces the available calcium in the dry cow diet Calfix Graph 2 B&Wand thereby reduces blood calcium levels,” says Adam.  “CalFix® triggers an earlier onset of the calcium adaptation process so that when cows calve and face the spike in demand they are already utilising calcium efficiently, meaning the risk of hypocalcaemia, both as clinical and subclinical milk fever, is reduced.”

Of critical importance, and unlike other dry cow strategies, the research showed that cows fed CalFix® also had increased dry matter intakes immediately post-calving which helps to restore positive energy balance in early lactation, enabling healthy milk production and return to service.

Calfix B&W  Mill & Mill Dry Cow RationCalFix® should be fed in the last three weeks of the dry period (it should not be fed to lactating cows).  A typical on farm dry cow mix is seen to the left.  It should be fed alongside other forages and minerals to supply a balanced transition diet for dairy cows.   This may be a combination of straw, maize and grass silage.  Let us know what you have and we will come up with a feeding plan.

 

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