“Lameness, infection, heat stress and poor trace mineral availability may significantly affect fertility of dairy cattle”

Reproductive performance is one of the most important factors affecting herd profitability. Establishing pregnancy is essential, as it sets the stage for lactation and the generation of income. Reproductive failure may lead to early culling and reduced longevity, less milk and fewer calves per cow per year. Nutrition is critical in ensuring reproductive success.

Cows depend on trace minerals to establish and maintain pregnancy, making trace mineral nutrition essential to reproductive success. Improving the availability of trace minerals before parturition positively affects postpartum reproductive performance.

Research has shown that sources of trace minerals are more bioavailable and have better animal retention than inorganic sources.

A summary of 17 studies found that feeding the highly bioavailable forms of zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt found in Zinpro Performance Minerals® improved cow health and improved key reproductive factors, resulting in:

  • 13 fewer days open
  • 0,3 fewer services per conception
  • 5 percentage unit increase in % cows pregnant at 150 days postpartum.

Cows were able to respond better to transition stress, as evidenced by the quicker return to normal ovarian activity. Another study showed that by feeding Zinpro Performance Minerals® prior to calving, incidence of retained placentas, cystic ovaries and mastitis/metritis was reduced. Lameness may also affect fertility by lowering first-service conception rates and increasing ovarian cysts. Clinically lame cows within 30 days postpartum had a 58,9% decrease in first service conception rates, a 125% increase in ovarian cysts and an 8,2% decrease in pregnancy rate at 480 days postpartum.

The most noteworthy observation was that 30,8% of cows that were lame during the first 30 days of lactation were culled prior to recording any reproductive event as compared to 5,4% culling of non-lame cows. Improving claw integrity by supplementing with complexed zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt reduced incidence of claw lesions/lameness.

Management strategies must be established to address cow comfort, detection and correction of lameness and prevention of mastitis. Trace minerals play key roles in preventing lameness and mastitis and in maintaining reproductive function. Feeding a nutritionally sound diet with highly bioavailable trace mineral sources throughout the dry and lactating periods, helps ensure cows have an adequate trace mineral supply and that the nutrient requirements of the cow are being met.

Backed by extensive research, Availa®4 provides proven reproductive responses, while also delivering a strong return on investment. Ask for Zinpro Performance Minerals® and improved herd performance and profitability are sure to follow.

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