Enhance Liver Function and Improve Performance in the Transition Period

Posted: October 9, 2018 | Written By: Dayane Da Silva, Ph.D. - Form-A-Feed Nutritionist

transition period

It is calving season! A lot of calves have already hit the ground. Although we focus on making sure the calf receives a clean and adequate amount of colostrum, cows also need special attention during the transition period (21 days before and 21 days after calving). Fine-tuning during this phase can set up the potential milk production for the entire year, and a successful transition period can improve milk yield by 600 to 1,500 pounds per cow per lactation. However, lower dry matter intake, high energy demands along with mobilization of body fat, and an imbalanced immune system are common challenges during this phase.

Research shows that 75% of health disorders such as clinical ketosis, displaced abomasum (DA), retained placenta (RP), metritis and mastitis in dairy cows happen in the first 30 days after calving. It will take a few weeks until the cow reaches its full potential appetite and consume the nutrients required for production. In general, a dairy cow experiences negative energy balance (NEB) for 8-12 weeks after calving. The cow copes with the increase in energy requirement by mobilizing fat from her body which leads to increases in blood circulation of non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA), glycerol, and Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB). The liver gets overloaded with fat and the cow can develop fatty liver. The alarming part of all this is that high blood NEFA concentrations along with fatty liver have been linked to a high risk of DA, metritis, and RP. These conditions decrease the chance of cows having a high lactation peak, and compromises milk yield for the whole year.

Form-A-Feed’s VALLES TRANS 3 product has enabled our nutritionists to formulate diets that enhance liver function and decreases the chances of metabolic disorders during the early lactation period, allowing cows to reach a higher peak and higher yields of milk. VALLES TRANS 3 provides vitamins such as choline and niacin that support liver health, researched chromium levels to regulate glucose, and insulin metabolism to support high performance.

Talk to your Form-A-Feed Nutritionist for more information about how to enhance liver health during the transition period and be more profitable for the whole year!