Let’s start by looking at what happens to the dry cow:
- Immediately pre-calving her appetite for food and water is supressed, which can be for up to six hours, and that will put her metabolism on a knife-edge if it’s not already there given the stresses and strains of the dry cow period.
- Once the calf is born, there’s obviously a large gap in the abdomen where the calf was and, with the limited amount of food consumed in the previous 6-12 hours, the rumen could start to move and other organs ‘flip’, meaning possible RDAs or, more commonly, an LDA.
- At the same time as all this is going on, there is a huge surge in the cow’s demand for calcium due to the increase in colostrum production and then milk. This surge starts to suck calcium from the blood at a huge rate compared to what’s actually there. As a result, we can start to see an increased risk of hypocalcaemia and the development of DAs which are very possible/probable.
So, we know what’s happening to the cow. Now let’s look at what we want her to do post-calving:
- Firstly, get up and return to eating and drinking as quickly as possible.
- Then we want a rapid onset of milk production with limited/no health complications, so it’s really important to get the body processes started again so she can start to motor.
- As she moves forward into milk, we want her to achieve a high peak milk yield.
- And hopefully, with the combination of less metabolic problems, less hypocalcaemia and good metabolic health, she’ll get back into calf quickly and easily.
Between the demands of calving and our expectations of her immediately after, there is a gap! And the gap is intensified with the surge in her requirement for calcium.
Rehydration drinks are commonly and most effectively used within one hour of calving and their aim is primarily to encourage the cow to eat, fill the space in the rumen to stop the risk of a DA and quickly supply some of the key nutrients she needs for recovery. Most often, the calcium provision within these drinks is in the form of limestone flour, with added antioxidants, sugars and vitamins to boost her revival. However, whilst limestone flour does indeed help to provide calcium to the cow, it is a non-soluble and slow release form when time is off the essence.
RESTART, Premier Nutrition’s new, improved rehydration drink, is different. It has been carefully formulated to tackle all post-calving needs. Most notably, the calcium content is only provided by calcium propionate – a ‘gold standard’ in calcium supplementation, which is super-soluble and quick release into the blood, so it is very quickly absorbed by the cow and gets to work.
In addition, RESTART provides:
- Up to 21% of the cow’s day one calcium requirement in one dose!
- Sugars for excellent palatability and rapidly available energy
- Protected choline for improved liver function and to ensure dietary nutrients are used correctly
- A powerful live yeast to kickstart the rumen
- Mixed antioxidants to give a boost to and support the immune system
- Key vitamins and minerals to ensure calcium status is returned
RESTART is available in a 15kg tub, used at 1kg per dose. It should be used immediately post-calving, ideally within 10-20 minutes and up to three doses can be given to speed up recovery and stimulate appetite response.
Mix 1kg of RESTART into 5 litres of hot (65°C) water and stir thoroughly, then top up to 15-20 litres with cool water. Offer as soon as temperature permits, and most cows will drain the bucket before going to lick the calf and then taking solid feed.
To find your local stockist and/or request a sample, WhatsApp, text or call 07946 756268 today.