1 March 2002

Feed supplement improves health

TRIALS in two college dairy herds show a product intended primarily to boost cow yields has also reduced cell counts by 30% and 60%, resulting in a subsequent drop in mastitis cases.

According to NuTec, groups of college cows fed Lift – the product developed by its parent company Provimi – in the first 90 days of lactation yielded 1.7-3.7kg more than control groups.

In the same period, cell counts reduced by an average of 30% at Newton Rigg College and 67% at Myerscough compared with the control group, while mastitis cases also decreased by at least 38%.

Lift is designed to stimulate liver function and improve the organs efficiency in metabolising fat to improve performance in high yielding cows.

"But it has been shown to aid improvements in health, welfare and fertility of these high performance cows," says Nu Tecs Sion Richards. "The liver is a crossroads for metabolic systems, so any improvement in its function will benefit the overall well-being of the cow."

Lift is ideally fed for 21 days before calving and continued for the first 100 days of lactation. It can be added to a compound feed, fed through a mineral, or in a total mixed ration on-farm, says the company.

It adds that Lift is economic to include in rations because it costs from 19p/cow/day and gives a typical milk yield response of 2.5 litres/day. &#42