Subclinical metabolic disorders like subclinical hypocalcemia (SCH) have become an important focus in livestock management. These disorders are associated with an increased risk of periparturient problems that have long-term consequences for production, reproduction, and survival. Research findings demonstrate that cows are more susceptible to hypocalcemia as the lactation number increases.
More specifically, a recent study in Germany found that 48% of multiparous cows suffered from subclinical hypocalcemia.
Moreover, it’s important to know that subclinical hypocalcemia has effects beyond milk fever. It decreases rumen contraction, rumination, dry matter intake, and neutrophil functions of the dairy cow. It also increases the incidences of metritis, retained fetal membranes, therefore impacting treatment costs.
That’s why at Kemin, we believe the pre-calving cow phase, or close-up period, is a great opportunity to improve the cow’s performance after calving.