Feeding calcium and dietary cation-anion difference in the close-up period: How much is enough?
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Graef, Geneva; Overton, Thomas
The transition period is a tumultuous period for a cow and those of us trying to manage them. During this time cows are particularly prone to mineral and metabolic imbalances that can leave them more susceptible to diseases as well as lower milk production and poorer reproductive performance. Of particular concern is the issue of calcium (Ca). At and around calving calcium is in high demand for fetal development, birth, and lactation, while leaving enough for a cow’s normal physiologic needs. Fortunately we can prepare the cow to improve her chance of success through this transition period by managing the dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) in the close-period to improve her calcium metabolism around and after the time of calving. This allows her to more efficiently use calcium stores rapidly when she needs it most. There are also some strategies to consider when managing dietary Ca. When it comes to either Ca or DCAD feeding, the question always returns to, if we choose one or both strategies, how much is enough?
Papillon Agricultural Company and Progressive Dairy
PRO-DAIRY; dairy; Manager; research; transition; metabolic