Co. Carlow

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Nutribio Ltd.
Tivoli Industrial Estate

+353 (0) 214 507 303
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ImmuBoost Pre Calver – Supporting Improved Dry Cow Management

ImmuBoost Pre Calver – Supporting Improved Dry Cow Management

Brothers Ivan and Steven Dawson milk 230 pedigree Holstein cows between Carrickmacross and Shercock in Co Monaghan. The herd has both autumn and spring calving groups with the emphasis placed on producing high levels of milk output per cow in tandem with good milk solids.

“Yields are currently in the range 8,000 litres to 9,000 litres per cow,” Ivan explained.

“We feed a TMR during the winter and include zero grazing as part of our herd management practises throughout the spring and summer months.

“We have expanded the milking business significantly over recent times ten years ago, we were milking 50 cows. Our plan now is to level off cow numbers and sell surplus breeding stock as they become available.  We milk record and, while we don’t show, our focus is on breeding cows that will milk well over a long number of lactations.”

So much for the good news: the not so good news, from a dairying perspective, is that Ivan and Steven farm in an extremely  intensive pig producing region. And as a consequence, soil and forage potash levels are inherently high.

Ivan continued:

“In the past we have had a lot of problems with clinical and sub clinical Milk Fever, retained cleanings, displaced abomasums, mastitis, ketosis and the other metabolic issues that can be traced back to the management of the cow during the dry period. And for us, the focus of our attention has been on the issue of offering transition cows forages that contain high levels of potash.”

In search of a workable solution, the Dawson’s asked Co-operative Animal Health’s John Cumiskey to recommend a suitable dry cow management feeding programme for their herd.

“The first step in the process was to put Ivan and Steven in touch with the Nutribio nutritionist Pat O’Byrne,” John explained during a recent visit to the Dawson farm.

“This led to the development of a transition cow management strategy, which centred on the inclusion of ImmuBoost X-Mag Vit E Elite Pre Calver mineral 6-8 weeks prior to calving.”

“The product is a highly palatable premium powdered mineral, formulated to bridge the trace element and vitamin gap of pre-calving cows. Its use helps protect the health of both the cow and her unborn calf.”

Ivan Dawson again:

“We saw a remarkable improvement in the cows, once we changed to the pre calving management approach recommended by Nutribio. All of our cows are now calving down easily and will come into full milk very quickly. In addition, the calves are born with plenty of vitality.”

He concluded:

“We regard the management of our dry cows as being of crucial importance. Decisions taken in the weeks prior to calving will have a dramatic impact on how the cow performs during her subsequent lactation. We have an excellent working relationship with John Cumiskey, who has been extremely proactive in the way that he has allowed us make use of the excellent back up and advisory services that are available from Co-operative Animal Health. And, it goes without saying that we want to build on this for the future.”

Click here for futher details on ImmuBoost X-Mag Vit E Elite Pre Calver Mineral