The three weeks before and the three weeks after calving, referred to as the transition period, is when a dairy cow is at her most vulnerable. Due to the calcium-richness of her milk, dairy producers need to adjust a dairy cow’s nutrition to compensate for the sudden calcium outflow.
The low concentration of blood calcium around calving can trigger a cascade of negative events that ultimately reduce dry matter intake, increase metabolic diseases, and decrease milk yield. Hypocalcemia (milk fever) is a well-known metabolic disorder that occurs post-calving. The dairy cow is unable to meet calcium requirements and the sudden calcium needs cannot be met by calcium mobilisation from bone alone.
Kemin developed NutriCAB™, an encapsulated anionic salt made up of 80% calcium chloride to aid cation and anion balance in dairy cow diets during the transition period. By supplementing a dairy cow with NutriCAB™ for 20 days before calving the cow will have sufficient calcium in her bloodstream. This results in sound metabolic health and better milk yield after calving.
Feeding low DCAB (Dietary Cation-Anion Balance) diets to cows close to calving, promotes calcium mobilisation from bone, ensuring that metabolic processes are in place when parturition occurs.
The calculation of DCAB is normally expressed using milliequivalents of the major cations and anions as follows: DCAB (mEq) = (sodium + potassium) – (chloride + sulfur).
NutriCAB™ Dry is a palatable encapsulated source of calcium chloride which can be used by nutritionists to efficiently manage the cation-anion balance of the transition cow diet. It facilitates easy calving with a reduction in hypocalcemia (milk fever) and associated metabolic disorders. This results in better cow health, peak milk yield and lactation persistency. This encapsulated anionic salt product changes a cow’s blood pH towards slightly acidic condition because of chloride ions. The cow mobilises more calcium from her bones and the diet in an attempt to buffer the acid in her bloodstream. In this way, the cow receives maximal calcium supply at the time of calving.
IMPORTANT: Always make sure that there is an adequate supply of available calcium in the diet when feeding anionic salts like NutriCAB™ Dry.