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.