To help in-calf dry dairy cows and heifers develop healthy calves and to support pregnancy and calving.
Animal nutritionists now recognise that for a modern dairy cow to have the best chance of reaching her genetic potential, correct nutrition during the latter stages of pregnancy is absolutely critical. Vital Dry provides for the mineral needs of the in-calf dry cow or in-calf heifer and the developing foetus. By providing the ideal combination of minerals at this critical stage, we can support the development of a healthy calf and the cow can enter lactation in a much better state of health than otherwise. In the later stages of pregnancy the dry cow is undergoing massive metabolic and nutritive demand, having to feed herself as well as the growing calf. It has been recognised that this is a critical period for the calf and the performance of the calf in later life as a milk producer is significantly affected by the presence or absence of the correct mineral balance during this stage.
Improving dry cow nutrition and management leads to more milk and better fertility. There are fewer cases of ketosis, milk fever, mastitis, lameness, retained placenta, still birth, weak calves and displaced abomasum. Vital Dry is a balanced mineral supplement for in-calf dairy cows and heifers during the last 8 weeks of pregnancy fed at a minimum of 100g/head/day. During this period, the proper balance of minerals must be provided to the cow to allow her to develop a strong, healthy calf and sustain her own body’s needs. Because Vital Dry is a low- calcium, high- magnesium formulation, it greatly reduces the probability of milk fever, whilst providing the a good balance of trace minerals to the dry cow.
Milk fever is a complicated process; it is essentially more likely in dairy cows that are fed too much calcium and too little magnesium in the dry period. The parturition process in all mammals triggers lactation. In order to ready the body for milk production, a physiological process is started that mobilises calcium from the mother’s bone. If too much calcium is present in the diet, this physiological process is not fully triggered. Therefore, when the massive amount of calcium required for lactation is needed, not enough can be mobilised from the body. Blood calcium levels therefore fall (‘hypocalcaemia’) and there is not enough calcium in the blood to sustain muscle function. This results in problems such as dystocia, retained placenta and, in clinical cases, cows that are unable to stand, which can eventually lead to death. Once a cow has had milk fever, she becomes more susceptible to recurrence in subsequent pregnancies. Vital Dry has no intentionally added calcium and no intentionally added iron, allowing for an easy and smooth transition into the milking herd.
Vital Dry is an excellent supply of essential minerals and trace elements. The high quality ingredients are sourced without compromise for consistency and good bio- availability. Vital Dry contains contain at least three different sources of copper to combat the problem of copper lock-up and it is also for this reason that it does not contain any intentionally added iron or molybdenum. This helps combat copper antagonism which is a key problem in Kenyan forages and which results in copper deficiency. Vital Dry is used at a minimum of 100g per day in the last two months of pregnancy (8 weeks pre-calving) until about 4 or 5 days before calving when a switch to Vital Maziwa is recommended.
Nutrition is one of the most critical elements in farming today. Farmers using improved genetics require better nutrition to achieve the full genetic potential in milk yield or growth potential.