The transition period consists of a complex interaction of multiple changes within the cow, including metabolic and hormonal adaptations and immune activation.

These complex adaptations require the distribution of nutrients and energy to support the cow’s requirements for the final stage of foetal growth and to ensure the lactation starts off successfully.

Failure of this may result in health and development challenges for both cow and calf in the period after calving.

Around 70% of calf growth occurs during the dry period, with the most growth during the last few weeks.

This means feed intake will be limited when the cow is coming up to calving - there is simply less space inside the cow!

In the last eight hours before calving, the cow undergoes a period of fasting, resulting in limited intake of water, energy, minerals and vitamins.

This, combined with the high physiological demands of calving and the production of colostrum and milk, places the cow under immense pressure.

Proactively supporting your herd - when and how

Two weeks pre-calving

The AHV Booster Tablet, administered two weeks prior to calving, drives the metabolism of the cow through encouraging good nutrient utilisation and sets the cow up for calving, ensuring she has the best start to her lactation.

Heifers will benefit from the AHV Booster Tablet as they too will be entering a huge stress period.

Heifers have additional energy requirements to older cows – they are still growing, and they may be bullied away from the feed fence. They need all the energy support they can get!

Additionally, older, fatter cows that are prone to metabolic issues and liver function problems will also benefit. The AHV Booster Tablet resets the rumen and encourages good liver function.

First signs of calving

In early lactation, energy requirements rise to about 300% and calcium requirements increase by four times, to meet the demands of milk production.

This drastically increases the demand on the cow’s mineral stores (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium) and energy reserves. About one third of cows visibly struggle with this transition and more than half of cows struggle without it being immediately visible.

By administering two AHV Milk Start Tablets at this crucial time, it will provide a boost of calcium, phosphate and magnesium, which will help support mineral balance at the beginning of lactation.

Directly post-calving

The number one goal is to get the cow up and eating as soon as possible. To achieve this, the cow needs lots of energy and minerals. Reducing stress and cleaning out the uterus is equally important.

The AHV Metri Tablet, AHV StartLac Paste and AHV ASPI together provide a useful combination to encourage good energy and mineral balance, helping to cleanse the uterus and reduce the risk of milk fever.

The AHV Metri Tablet ensures the uterus continues to contract to pass the afterbirth, while also deactivating pathogenic bacteria.

AHV StartLac Paste provides another energy boost to encourage feed intake, alongside calcium, phosphate and active vitamin D3.

AHV StartLac Paste contains a natural form of calcium - calcium pidolate - which has over 90% absorption in the body. AHV ASPI reduces stress and encourages the cow to eat and perform.

Why act proactively? What are the benefits?

One of the main reasons for culling is empty/dirty cows. By proactively supporting cows during this transition period, we can dramatically reduce these incidences.

By providing more energy to cows, they are more likely to recover quicker from calving, with fewer issues, and enter lactation energised and ‘firing on all cylinders’ - leading to better production and profitability.

Clean cows are predisposed to better conception rates, therefore reduced days open. If cows become pregnant sooner, fewer AI straws are required, which reduces cost per cow and culling.

This will also have a positive impact on replacement rates. If healthier cows remain in the herd for longer, overall farm profitability is improved.

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