The result of significant research from the Trouw Nutrition R&D department in The Netherlands, CalFix is a new and patented dietetic feed technology for close-up cows. When fed as part of a cow’s transition diet – from 3 weeks prior to calving – CalFix assists the natural process of accelerated calcium absorption immediately post calving.
Focusing on the cow's metabolism, CalFix restricts the availability of absorbable calcium in the pre-calving period and as a result the natural calcium absorption system in the small intestine is trained to be more efficient.
At calving the cow's metabolism is now ready to receive increased quantities of calcium from the new lactation diet. The cow is therefore much better prepared for the dramatic increase in calcium requirements at and directly after calving, ready for the onset of peak lactation.
CalFix can support normal blood levels of calcium around calving thus reducing the risk of clinical and subclinical milk fever and minimizing the threat of the Calcium Deficiency Challenge.
In order to return to positive energy balance after calving and to minimise weight loss in early lactation, cows need to maximise their dry matter intake as quickly as possible.
CalFix transition feed technology is a simple and innovative way to manage the Calcium Deficiency Challenge and can result in higher feed intake during the critical early lactation period. Recent trials with CalFix demonstrate that cows supplemented in the three weeks before calving had a higher total dry matter intake after calving than cows fed a control diet. This is beneficial in helping to restore positive energy balance.
Cows with subclinical milk fever have a blood calcium level lower than two millimoles per litre directly after calving. Trials using CalFix in the dry period showed blood levels remaining above this critical threshold.
(Click on graphs to enlarge)
a. Kimura K, Reinhardt TA and Goff JP (2006) Parturition and hypocalcemia blunts calcium signals in immune cells of dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science 89, 2588-2595.
b. Goff JP (2008) The monitoring, prevention and treatment of milk fever and subclinical hypocalcemia in dairy cows. The Veterinary Journal 176, 50-57.
c. Martín-Tereso J, Martens H, Deiner C, Laar H van, Hartog LA den and Verstegen MWA (2010) Effect of rumen-protected rice bran on serum Ca of multiparous dairy cows at calving. 14th International Conference on Production Diseases in Farm Animals, Ghent, Belgium.
d. Martín-Tereso J, Wijlen H ter, Laar H van and Verstegen MWA(2014) Peripartal calcium homoeostasis of multiparous dairy cows fed rumen-protected rice bran or a lowered dietary cation/anion balance diet before calving. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 98, 775-784.