Poorly managed turfing
can have disastrous consequences
In early spring, young grass is a fodder rich in water, sugar (energy) and soluble nitrogen, but it is also poor in effective fibre, magnesium and starch . Grass alone cannot meet the essential needs of cows and if grazing is not supplemented, the list of nutritional risks is long:
- Digestive transit too fast (diarrhea)
- Poor assimilation of nutrients
- Grass tetany (drop in magnesium)
- Muscle fatigue
- Energy deficit on strong dairy cows
- Very high urea level in urine and milk (>350 mg/L) which can be a source of embryonic abortion…
All of these risks should be taken seriously to avoid serious problems. It is therefore necessary to think upstream about the food transition of animals.
3 key steps to follow
A three-week transition
It is recommended to make a transition of at least three weeks. the exit of the herd must be done gradually: a few hours in the afternoon to start and with a full belly. It is then necessary to gradually reduce the nitrogen concentrate according to the consumption of grass and avoid soluble proteins (rich in DINP, containing urea).
Increase mineral intake, especially magnesium
Mineral-wise, the grass is rich in vitamins, potassium but low in magnesium, salt, selenium and iodine. Magnesium plays a major role in neuro-muscular functioning and deficiencies can cause grass tetany. This disease mainly affects high-producing dairy cows and those at the start of lactation. It is most often manifested by loss of appetite, tremors, convulsions, symptoms similar to milk fever. Reinforcing the intake of magnesium and trace elements makes it possible to cover the needs and preserve their tone. It is therefore very important to supplement the grass with minerals that are particularly suitable for cows returning to graze: vitamin and trace element intake to cover the specific needs related to this period.
There are several ways to provide a mineral supplement:
- By mixing it directly into the ration: this is the method that ensures the most homogeneous distribution of minerals
- In the form of lick buckets to be left in the field: this is an effective alternative if mineralization in the ration is not possible
- To be administered with a bolus lance: it is a more restrictive practice but which remains very effective, each cow receiving a certain dose.
We formulate and manufacture minerals specially adapted to the different physiological stages of animals and to key stages in the life of herds, such as grazing:
– VITA-FORM HP 4.5/20/6 – Enriched with Magnesium. For ration > 70% grass.
– VITA-CARTE 350 HERB (Vitacarte mineral + buffer) – enriched with Magnesium, Bicarbonate and Salt. – VITA-CARTE ALPHA HERB (Vitacarte mineral + buffer + clay) – enriched with Magnesium, Bicarbonate, salt, RumenStimul de Vitalac and clay.
Our lick buckets avoid deficiencies and ensure a minimum of essential nutrients:
– LICK BUCKETS 3/21/4 for dairy cows ( 1 for 10 cows) – LICK BUCKET 5/15/6.5 for suckler cows that graze between 7 and 10 months and receive little or no mineral:
Our boluses allow in a single gesture to ensure a supply of minerals and trace elements which will have a long-term effect:
Lick buckets and boluses are ideal for cows and heifers that go out to the fields even in winter and also need to receive a grass supplement.
In addition, to cover salt and magnesium needs, we also offer you the TRANSIT HERBE, one of our nutritional specialties, which helps to calm digestive inflammation and reduce the risk of grass tetany.
Slow down the transit
It is also essential to slow down the digestive transit of cows. You can maintain a corn silage base of 3 to 5 kg DM and promote the consumption of effective fibers (hay or straw, in the trough or, failing that, in a rack). Indeed, providing fiber will help buffer the acidity of the grass, bicarbonate and salt proving to be very useful in this context. Adding clay will also help slow transit and better enhance the potential of the grass.