Subpopulations targeted for oral calcium supplementation

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Lame cows and high-producing cows are good candidates for oral calcium bolus supplementation. That’s the word from scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. who recently authored a paper in the Journal of Dairy Science.

In a study, cows that were lame before calving and supplemented with oral calcium boluses had improved early-lactation health compared with lame cows that were not supplemented, the authors wrote. And, cows that had high milk production in their previous lactation ― greater than 105 percent of herd rank ― produced 2.9 kilograms or 6.39 pounds more milk at the first DHI test after calving compared with similar high-producing cows that were not supplemented. “These results indicate that dairy herds already experiencing a very low incidence of hypocalcemia can target a subpopulation of cows (i.e., lame and high-producing) that will respond favorably to supplementation with oral Ca boluses,” the authors said.

To read the abstract from the December 2012 Journal of Dairy Science, click here. Oral calcium bolus supplementation on early-lactation health And, here is the full text version.

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