June 15, 2015 - Extra Trace Minerals Needed for Early-Lactation Cows

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Monday, June 15, 2015 - Research done by Rodrigo Bicalho, assistant professor of dairy production medicine at Cornell University, reveals the benefits of extra trace minerals in early lactation cows, particularly the first seven days postpartum.


He worked with more than 1,500 Holstein cows from four commercial dairy farms in upstate New York. Treatment cows received three shots of a commercial trace mineral supplement. Injections were given at dry-off, 15 days pre-partum and 35 days post-partum. This was on top of the fact that trace minerals were already provided in the ration. Control cows received no injections.

Treatment cows had a significantly lower incidence of clinical mastitis, clinical endometritis and stillbirths than the control cows. He pointed out that injections are a supplemental strategy and should not be considered a replacement for trace minerals in the feed.

ABC Comment: Feeding cows a TMR does not meet the needs of every cow. Some animals will be deficient in trace minerals, especially at critical periods such as around calving. As the author in the Dairy Herd article pointed out, feeding trace minerals is better than injecting. Apparently, NRC recommendations do not supply what the cows really need. We recommend feeding a good common-sense ration and supplementing it with ABC’s free choice cafeteria style mineral program. This allows the individual cows to use their nutritional wisdom to choose what they need for a healthy immune system and profitable production.  

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