FRESH COW SYNDROME
Recent research and field management programs have led to a greater awareness regarding the importance of a trouble-free transition period in getting high-producing dairy cows to recover from the stress of calving and preparing for milk production at the start of lactation. Production records clearly indicate that cows with a one to two pound daily reduction in milk production at the peak of lactation will produce 1,000 to 2,000 pounds less milk during the entire lactation period. Immediate post-calving problems such as reduced appetite, milk fever, hypocalcaemia and retained placentas can individually or collectively impair the cow’s ability to reach her optimum peak in lactation. Later post-calving problems, such as ketosis or displaced abomasums, are metabolic and digestive disorders that can further challenge the cow’s ability to maximize milk production throughout lactation.
Fresh cow management and feeding programs should be designed to provide fresh cows with a supplemental source of essential nutrients the first 24-48 hours after calving to help the cow make the transition from a dry period, to calving, to the start of lactation. Fresh Cow YMCP Plus was specifically designed to provide the fresh cow with an abundant supply and highly available active sources of yeast, magnesium, calcium and potassium, niacin and betaine.
NIACIN – BETAINE
Fresh Cow YMCP Plus has recently been reformulated to provide the fresh cow with an available active source of niacin and betaine. Consulting nutritionists routinely recommend 6,000 milligrams of niacin per day as an effective ketosis preventative. Dairy producers can now administer Fresh Cow YMCP Plus immediately after calving and be assured of a 6,000 milligram intake immediately after calving when cows frequently have reduced dry matter or feed intake. Recent research has shown that betaine is a very active osmolyte and helps maintain cellular fluids, thereby, reducing the chances of dehydration. Betaine also provides energy conserving lipotropic action in animals in an energy deficit condition and should be considered as a logical supplement in all fresh cow products and programs.
When cows freshen, their feed intake drops 20-25 percent the first 24-48 hours after calving and with problems such as milk fever, feed intake usually drops 60-80 percent. A secondary factor influencing dry matter intake following calving is the transition of the rumen mucosa and papillae in length and texture. Papillae should lengthen and increase in absorptive surface after calving to help promote absorption of nutrients, especially energy, required for optimum milk production. More and more nutritionists and veterinarians are recommending yeast as an economical tool to help establish and maintain dry matterintake. Most researchers are of the opinion that the complementary action of yeast is through its enhancing microbial action in stimulating rumen fermentation. Fresh Cow YMCP Plus contains the identical specific rumen strains of yeast culture found in Rumen Yeast Caps Plus. Each half-pound of Fresh Cow YMCP Plus was formulated to provide an identical number of colony-forming units as incorporated into one capsule of Rumen Yeast Caps Plus.
The hormone parathormone is considered to be the primary agent mobilizing the assimilation of calcium from the bones following calving. Most high producing cows cannot assimilate sufficient calcium from their digestive tracts following calving to meet their calcium needs. Biochemists are of the opinion that magnesium is the primary electrolyte that limits parathyroid gland secretion of parathormone and, as such, it should be fortified in the diet or ration whenever problems with hypocalcaemia are a common occurrence, such as after calving. Magnesium is also thought to have a complementary role in calcium absorption and it has been used with success by veterinarians to treat nervous ketosis and cows that may relapse with milk fever.
The immediate post-calving problems of hypocalcaemia or milk fever are related to the absorption of calcium from the bones. Cows whose blood calcium suddenly drops to the level at which cows go down and metabolically shut down should be treated intravenously to help restore the calcium to the desired serum level. Supplemental oral calcium should be considered following calving in an effort to supply additional calcium when feed intake normally drops. Fresh Cow YMCP Plus provides four sources of highly dispersible forms of calcium that are absorbed independently of each other. The calcium sources in Fresh Cow YMCP Plus are not irritating compared to chloride forms used in many oral preparations and, as such, they can be administered with less danger when used as a drench.
During their dry period, cows frequently consume too much potassium as a result of the high potassium content of forages, which can result in greater problems with hypocalcaemia and milk fever. However, once cows freshen, they generally have insufficient intake of potassium. Inadequate potassium intake after calving can contribute to problems with ketosis, as potassium is the primary influencing electrolyte in the immobilization of adeno triphosphate (ATP). Virtually all forms of utilizable carbohydrate and blood glucose originate from ATP and, as such, potassium should be considered for supplementation following calving. Smooth muscle tissue of the rumen, abomasum and uterus are dependent upon adequate supplies of potassium. Recent research clearly illustrates that these organs lose tone and contractility with either calcium or potassium deficits.
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