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Fresh Cow YMCP – Helping Prevent Metabolic Disorders

Fresh Cow YMCP – Helping Prevent Metabolic Disorders

Metabolic Disorders, Milk Fever

Preventing just one case of a displaced abomasum within an average size dairy herd will more than cover the cost of treating each freshly calved cow with ‘Fresh Cow YMCP™’ , the post-calving nutritional drink now available from Co-operative Animal Health. In addition Fresh Cow YMCP will also help reduce problems associated with metabolic disorders – including Milk Fever – and the case for using it as part of the standard management routine followed in the period directly after calving becomes more than obvious.

Significantly, milk fever is recognised as a ‘Gateway Disease’  – one that contributes directly or indirectly to other metabolic disorders such as Retained Placenta, Metritis and Left Displaced Abomasum (LDA). Whether the cow lies down and has a full blown case of milk fever or she experiences subclinical milk fever, the low calcium availability changes the motility of the cow’s digestive system making a displacement more likely.

This point has not been lost on Michael Broderick, who milks 90 spring calving cows near Watergrasshill in Co. Cork with his father – also Michael. The herd is currently averaging 1,300 gallons with good milk solids. The 2013 calving season will get underway at the beginning of February.

Despite the poor growing conditions that characterised 2012, the Broderick’s managed to make good silage and more importantly, both Michael’s believe they have enough fodder in the silos to get them through to next Spring.

Like many other milk producers throughout Ireland the Broderick’s are putting more and more emphasis on the management of their cows during the dry period in addition to directly after calving.

“We try to get the cows into a body condition score of around 2.75-3.00 at drying off and we offer a good dry cow mineral,” Michael explained.

“But even with all of these measures in place we still had problems with LDA’s. Every case meant a significant drop off in yield, during the cow’s subsequent lactation and, of course, some cows did not come through the operation, where one was required.”

He continued:

“This time last year Co-operative Animal Health, Area Manager, Ned Barden paid the farm a visit and encouraged us to offer each cow Fresh Cow YMCP directly after calving. We took his advice and I have to admit the results that were achieved were very impressive. Our LDA issues disappeared and all of the cows re-joined the milking herd in tremendous fettle. The cows took to the drink really well. We simply mixed the powder in warm water and placed the bucket in front of each animal. Little or no coaxing was required to get them drinking it.  We will certainly be using Fresh Cow YMCP again in 2013.”

Ned Barden called in recently with the Broderick’s to discuss their plans for the 2013 calving season.

“Fresh Cow YMCP contains very accessible sources of both calcium and magnesium for the freshly calved cow. As a result the muscle tone of the rumen is improved, which helps prevent the onset of an LDA,” he explained.

“The product encourages appetite, which ensures that the rumen is never empty. This, again, helps prevent the onset of an LDA.”

“The added magnesium contained in YMCP will help the cow to better mobilise the calcium that is available while the niacin, an important B vitamin, will work to minimise the metabolic disorders that can become such a key problem post calving. Complementing all of these components is the yeast, which will also help kick start the cow’s rumen.”

Ned concluded:

“On farm experience here in Ireland has confirmed that 90% plus of cows offered Fresh Cow YMCP will drink it immediately. On the very odd occasion when the cow refuses the drink, the alternative approach is to spread the powder on her calf’s back. It is a natural instinct within the mother to lick the new arrival!”

Click here for further details on Fresh Cow YMCP.