There’s a hidden killer in your herd! - Subclinical milk fever is affecting up to 75% of the UK’s dairy herds.
Subclinical milk fever is unrecognisable and generally remains untreated, as a consequence it's the gateway to other metabolic diseases and ultimately an early cull cow.
The Perfect Calcium Balance
Subclinical milk fever is the result of low blood calcium at calving.One of the most important factors for providing a good start to the lactation, is the calcium level around calving. Calcium levels are crucial for proper muscle function and the immune system. At calving there is a sudden demand for calcium and the resultant drop in the required level can impair the cow’s health status and productivity.
X-Zelit achieves a perfect level of calcium at calving.
X-Zelit is a dry cow feed which allows for easy management of the transition period. Scientifically proven, this highly effective product will significantly improve cow health and lifetime performance. It’s no surprise, X-Zelit is the fastest selling dry cow product in the world.
X-Zelit works as a calcium binder, stimulating the cow’s own hormonal system to create a perfect calcium balance at calving. The result is a dramatic drop in levels of clinical and subclinical milk fever, increased health, fertility and post calving energy.
The Consequences of Low Blood Calcium
Clinical milk fever incidence is currently running close to the 10% mark in UK dairy herds. It's costing approximately £200 per cow, while subclinical milk fever can affect up to 75% of the herd, it’s unrecognisable and generally remains untreated.
Hypocalcaemia or milk fever in dairy cows can be defined as situations where the blood calcium concentration is below normal (normal plasma Ca being 2.1-2.8 mmol/l). Cows suffering from hypocalcaemia can be divided into 2 groups:
- Clinical milk fever
Dairy cows experience milk fever and display well know symptoms
Dairy cows show no clinical signs of milk fever; however, blood calcium concentrations drop below 2.0mmol/l and cows become highly susceptible to secondary conditions
Milk fever – both clinical and subclinical, occurs at calving, which is probably the most stressful time of the cow’s life. She will be changing environment, diet and groups all at the same time as well as undergoing a massive physical challenge. Milk fever incidents also increase with the number of lactations.
That’s not all. Cows suffering from milk fever are between four and nine times more likely to suffer from a miscellany of other metabolic orders, many of which are related to each other. They each come with a significant price tag not only in treatment and vet costs, but also with losses from future milk and fertility delays. Cow suffering milk fever are likely to have increased risks:
9-fold increase in the incidence of ketosis in cattle
6 times more dystocia/ calving difficulties
4-fold increase in the incidence of left displaced abomasum
4 times more cases of retained placenta
Even a slight reduction from normal calcium levels can significantly impact production and profitability. A small decrease in blood calcium can increase the risk of:
Lower milk production
Reduce reproductive performance
A negative energy balance
During the final six to eight weeks of pregnancy, most dry cow diets contain more calcium than is required, consequently the cow is only passively absorbing calcium. However, at calving there is a sudden demand for calcium for colostrum production and also for muscle contractions relating to calving and udder function, and the required level simply cannot be met by passive absorption. Active calcium absorption and mobilisation is required, yet it takes between 24 and 48 hours for her to change to active absorption, consequently there is always a drop in calcium levels around calving.
The consequences of low blood calcium can be seen in the following diagram, showing how it can be a gateway to other metabolic diseases and ultimately death.
X-Zelit is an easy to use and cost-effective solution to clinical milk fever and the unseen subclinical milk fever. This dry cow feed has been tried and tested on UK farms for over 10 years, producing positive results for the farmers who use it. On average they have saved up to £90 per cow, including the cost of the feed. See how much you could save through our