If you travel to an area where pickpocketing is prevalent, there are defensive measures you can take, like carrying your wallet in your front pocket or keeping your valuables in a good ol’ fanny pack. Similarly, there are measures you can take as a dairy producer to prevent being pickpocketed by real issues like hypocalcemia and heat stress.
The good news is there are many ways to protect yourself from being pickpocketed by these profit thieves. Going on the defensive and implementing preventive measures is your best bet. So, what are some of your options?
Prevent hypocalcemia from robbing you
Average accepted numbers are $300 lost per case of clinical hypocalcemia and $150 per case of subclinical hypocalcemia. You know your herd and your prevalence rates; how much money is milk fever robbing you of each year?
To prevent hypocalcemia, you can provide proper diets to your dry and fresh cows, including DCAD diets. Taking it a step further, you can support fresh cows through their transition with calcium supplementation. Cows need extra calcium support for approximately 24 hours post-calving, and providing that support can make a big difference. A product like RumiLife® CAL24™ nutritional supplement can go a long way in protecting your pockets. In fact, a recent study conducted at a Texas dairy demonstrated an ROI of $4.29/$1 when providing RumiLife® CAL24™ to fresh cows (the figure below is based on U.S. market rates and prices). Plus, it provides full 24-hour calcium support with just two boluses administered consecutively at freshening. There is no need to come back later to administer a second bolus which saves you time and gives her the chance to rest and recover.
Fight off the heat stress burglar
Heat stress is estimated to cost the U.S. dairy industry more than $1.5 billion annually due to losses in production and reproductive performance along with increased rates of morbidity and mortality in a mature cow herd.1 You read that right. $1.5 BILLION, with a B!
Heat stress affects cattle in many negative ways, ultimately resulting in lost profits. A big factor of heat stress is the mineral loss (primarily K) that happens via sweating, as well as changes to the animal’s blood acid-base chemistry that occurs during hyperventilation. This reduces blood bicarbonate and blood buffering capacity, increasing the urinary excretion of important electrolytes.2
Using a well-formulated electrolyte like RumiLife® Electrolyte M™ can help replace those lost electrolytes and stabilize blood bicarbonate levels. The best part about this product is that if you’re not sure how to incorporate it into your watering system, you don’t have to worry. You can also top-dress it or add it to your TMR! Additional defensive measures include providing your animals with fans, misters and shade with good airflow.
Watch out for these profit thieves too
Unbalanced gut health and mastitis can rob her ability to achieve a successful lactation, and they can rob your bottom line. Take preventive measures to ensure she’s supported – and your pockets are protected – through every transition of life.
Don't be a victim of pickpocketing!
While there are many preventive options to protect yourself financially, the first step is to determine the biggest thief on your farm. From there, decide which approach will help best to protect your pockets. Your local GENEX representative will be happy to help you fight these profit-robbing thieves. Contact your representative today to discuss strategies and options.
1St-Pierre et al., 2003 J. Dairy Sci. E52-E77
2West JW. Nutritional strategies for managing the heat-stressed dairy cow. J Anim Sci. 1999;77 Suppl 2:21-35. doi: 10.2527/1997.77suppl_221x. PMID: 15526778