A little history lesson, years ago Fertrell offered a dry cow mineral. It was called Hi Phos 3 – 15. Some of you probably remember this mineral blend. For several reasons, Hi Phos 3 – 15 went away. It had ingredients that were frowned upon by some organic certifiers and it was expensive. Sales had dwindled to a level low enough to remove it from our product line.
After that, feeding dry cows went along prettywell until recently. As we are formulating dry cow rations these days, we see deficiencies and imbalances that will lead to calving problems. I am seeing way too much potassium in many of the forages that are being fed to dry cows. We are also seeing way too many mold and mycotoxins in the forage
test being reported. These trends in forages and feedstuffs for dry cows has driven us back to needing a dry cow specific mineral blend.
A blend that can buffer the antagonistic inputs, support better health and balance cations and anions in the dry cow’s metabolism. The new dry cow mineral contains Mono-Sodium Phosphate for the best phosphorus source available in the market. The Mono-Sodium Phosphate ensures that critically needed phosphorus enters into the blood stream to condition and support reproductive organs. Especially the ovaries and uterus during times of stress.
Fertrell Dry Cow mineral also contains magnesium sulfate to supply high quality magnesium and sulfur. Magnesium is essential during the dry period to buffer excess potassium, lignin and high fiber. Magnesium is an effective mild laxative to keep the digestive tract moving smoothly as well. It has been found very effective in the first segment of the small intestinal tract where blockages are fairly common leading to bloat and or displaced abomasum. We also included Redmond Conditioner to aid in managing molds and toxins that may be in the grains and forages being fed. We feel that molds and mycotoxins are becoming more common in forages. I am not sure if there are more in recent years or if we have
just figured out how to test for them better.
In either case the molds and toxins are there. They will reduce the immune system function which will lead to many metabolic problems such as dead calves, thickened placentas, retained placentas or other. As in usual Fertrell fashion, we have added significant levels of vitamins including B vitamins to relieve stress and support
healthy appetite. Vitamin A was added at very high levels to support reproductive system health and repair. Vitamin A is also very important for fetus or calf health.
Additionally, trace minerals were added for proper mineral balance, muscle support and bone mineral reserves. Last but not least, Probiotics! Like other Fertrell minerals we have added exceptional levels of direct fed microbials to aid in digestion. Lord knows dry cows don’t get the best feed on the farm. They need all the help they can get! Direct fed microbes will help the dry cows get more out of the feeds and forages they are eating. They will also help keep the digestive tract moving rearward smoothly. The new dry cows need help during the dry period. They are trying to survive on lesser quality forages, reduced amounts of grain and often living conditions that aren’t pretty.
While I realize the Fertrell Dry Cow mineral isn’t cheap, I also realize that the dry period is the most important period of the cow’s life. Shortcomings during the dry period will affect the whole lactation! Make an investment in your future, your cow’s future and your financial future. Healthy dry cows will make more milk, dead cows don’t.