Post-calving rehydration supports performance

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Calving is a particularly stressful and risky time for the cow. A significant amount of fluid and electrolytes are lost during this process, the body goes through a considerable number of changes, and demands on the body also increase due to the onset of lactation.

Nia Williams, Nettex technical manager, highlighted at the recent UK Dairy Expo that these factors, can cause major issues. “When combined with minimal fluid and nutritional intake immediately prior to, and during calving, cows could be at an increased risk of post-calving issues such as milk fever, retained cleansing and displaced abomasum (DA), if they aren’t hydrated immediately.

“Post calving rehydration is a key component of managing the transition from the dry period to lactation, and should be a crucial part of the overall herd management plan to help support cow health and productivity.”

Straight after calving is the best time to get fluids back into the cow, Nia explains. “Cows have a natural instinct to hide all evidence of the birth, and therefore are more likely to drink what is put in front of them at this time.

“This provides a ripe opportunity to ensure they have access to a high quality liquid supplement such as Fresh Calver, in order to boost supplies of energy, calcium, vitamins and minerals. With immediately available energy, vitamin E and selenium to support cleansing, available calcium to help support increased demand, and electrolytes to aid rehydration, Fresh Calver provides complete support.

“For every litre of milk she produces a cow needs to drink at least three litres of water. For high yielding cows that could be as much as 150 litres of water. Ensuring cows are immediately rehydrated post-calving will help ensure she gets the best possible start as she moves back into the milking herd.”