A pre-calver to protect the calf as well as the cow
Lifeline has been the leading pre-calving choice in Ireland for more than 10 years. Designed for the calf as well as the cow, its patented formulation has been shown to increase colostrum antibody levels.
With the increase in cow numbers on most farms, the potential for calf problems has increased. With this, comes the additional time and costs associated with solving these issues.
Lifeline can help by improving colostrum and boosting the calf’s ability to fight off disease challenges.
Zinc and copper
Lifeline, like all good pre-calvers, contains copper and zinc to support the cow. But, the forms of copper and zinc used are similar to those used in footbaths.
These types can have both positive and negative effects; especially in terms of rumen health, immunity and palatability.
Lifeline mineral crumb is now made with hydroxy forms of copper and zinc and not copper sulphate and zinc oxide.
The hydroxy forms are more palatable; all cows will consume the product and there will be less variation in intakes. This can be clearly seen in Table 1 below.
The inclusion of copper sulphate has been shown to reduce rumen fermentation at a time when the cow is struggling to eat. This comes as the calf grows significantly in the last two months of gestation.
Reduced rumen fermentation will affect calf birth weight and colostrum production; especially if trace elements are overfed. By measuring VFA (volatile fatty acid) production in rumen fluid, the effect of feeding minerals to cows can be assessed.
The use of hydroxy minerals will have a small effect compared to standard sulphates or oxides (Table 2).
Feed digestibility is reduced by copper sulphate. When oxidative stress and gut health is measured, hydroxy minerals provide more available trace elements without any negative effects.
Lifeline mineral crumb, fed at a maximum of 200g/day for 30 days prior to calving, will provide the calf and cow with all their requirements.
And, at a cost of just 20c/cow per day – considering it’s feeding two animals and helping the calf to the best possible start – it’s great value.