27 September 1996

High Ca dry cow diet?

LOW calcium feeding at the pre-calving stage for dairy cows has been unfavourably compared with a dry cow feeding system launched at the event.

The new approach is to feed a high calcium mineral in the last two weeks of the dry period. This runs counter to conventional thinking that calcium uptake by dry cows can cause milk fever.

The high calcium mineral is fed alongside a product known as Bio-Chlor, designed to adjust blood acidity and reverse the cows ionic balance, so stimulating calcium uptake by the blood.

Compounder Attlee recommends feeding 1kg a cow a day of the anionic source Bio-Chlor for the 14 days pre-calving, plus 5-7kg dry matter of the post-calving diet. The high calcium mineral must also be fed to ensure adequate calcium uptake.

Cost of feeding the mineral and Bio-Chlor treatment for 14 days pre-calving is £13.45 a cow.