Herd performance is exemplary on the Galvin farm, with annual production of 7,200kg of milk delivering 600kg of milk solids per cow, combined with excellent herd reproductive performance with 82% of the herd calving within six weeks and an empty rate of 6.0% to 6.5%.

Owen explains: “Over the years, we’ve put a lot of time and focus with our vet and nutritionist into improving cow performance at calving and reducing levels of clinical milk fever and the more effort we put in, the better our results have been.

“While we felt we had made great strides in terms of tackling clinical milk fever cases, we felt that we still could have been getting the cows off to a better start in lactation.

“It was during a discussion last year with our nutritionist Seamus Callanan that he introduced us to Cow Start. Seamus explained that Cow Start offers the freshly calved cow a much broader range of benefits compared with a standard calcium bolus.

Next generation

“He said that while calcium status is a key issue at calving, immune status and energy status are also key challenges for cows. Cow Start has been uniquely formulated and proven to boost calcium, immune and energy status in early lactation, whereas most calcium supplements only support calcium status. Essentially, Cow Start is the next generation in fresh cow supplements.”

Cow Start is the only fresh cow supplement to have been published research on Irish spring-calving herds and the research results shows that cows supplemented with Cow Start get off to a better start in lactation with better calcium status, fewer retained placentas and uterine infections, better body condition score and energy status over the first three months of lactation.

Increase in milk production

As a result of this better start to lactation, an increase in milk production of 1.3kg/day across the lactation has been recorded when compared with cows given no supplementation at calving or cows given a calcium-only bolus supplement.

Owen continues: “From what I can see after using Cow Start this past spring, I think the performance of the cows matches what the research results are showing.

“The cows really have gotten off to a better start to lactation, they have come to their milk quicker and produced more over the whole lactation, but not only that, they have as a group held much better condition and as a group were much more consistent in their body condition throughout the first three months of lactation.”

Cow Start, from Anchor Life Science Ltd, is available as a bolus or powered drink mix from your local veterinary surgeon. For more information, visit the website http://cowstart.com/.