Proper hydration of market dairy animals prior to slaughter emphasizes your commitment to animal care and beef quality.

In a study reported in The Professional Animal Scientist journal, market dairy cows that were given electrolyte supplementation before leaving the farm for slaughter tended to have a lower percentage of weight loss during transport than untreated cows.

The study’s authors say the results demonstrate the potential for treatment with electrolytes preslaughter “to attenuate the negative effects of stressors on cull dairy cows.”

Supplementation appeared to be more effective during hot weather and extended feed withdrawal.

Take into consideration the marketing and transport guidelines found in the Dairy Animal Care & Quality Assurance (DACQA) manual when the time comes to market or transport dairy animals. The guidelines stress, among other things, that you only market animals that are not dehydrated.

Always handle and transport animals in accordance with accepted animal husbandry practices.

DACQA is a voluntary, national certification program intended to enhance and demonstrate quality animal care practices, which assure food safety, quality and value as well as enhance consumer confidence in the milk and beef products that are harvested from cattle on America’s dairy farms.