Zinpro Corporation recently introduced a heifer specific DD (Digital Dermatitis) formula to the European market.
This product provides dairy heifer rearers with an innovative, research-proven nutritional solution to foot health management. Multiple studies have shown that feeding the DD heifer formula helps provide protection against DD, a common infectious foot disease, when fed as part of a well-fortified diet and according to specific feeding recommendations. This heifer specific formula will complement the existing DD pack targeting lactating cows that was introduced to the dairy market in October 2014.
“Research has shown that the combination of essential trace minerals found in the DD formula are effective at helping decrease the incidence of DD in dairy cattle, when fed according to specific feeding recommendations,” says Arturo Gomez, DVM, PhD, dairy veterinarian, Europe, Zinpro Corporation. “Improving trace mineral nutrition within a well-fortified diet has been shown to help cattle build stronger skin integrity and a more empowered immune system.”
Digital dermatitis can cause painful lesions that often lead to lameness in dairy cattle, and the impact of lameness on animal performance is costly and wide-reaching. Most notably, this includes decreased milk production and poor reproductive performance in dairy cattle. When the DD formula is fed at a young age according to specific feeding recommendations, research has shown these animals are better able to resist digital dermatitis and not as likely to contract it later in life. In addition, research has shown these animals also exhibit improved feed efficiency during the rearing phase and increased milk production after calving in their first lactation.
The bacteria that are thought to cause DD have the ability to penetrate into deeper layers of the skin; so building a more resilient barrier against the bacteria is key to preventing the disease from taking hold.
According to Dr Gomez, many dairy operations in both Europe and the US have no protocol for bringing in new heifers and little awareness about the need to begin managing DD in young stock. “Both heifer care and cow care are crucial in managing DD on a dairy. In particular, research has shown that a greater emphasis on improving heifer nutrition and hygiene management can greatly improve animal performance and decrease susceptibility to DD later in life.”
For further information contact Jonathan Huxtable on: 01452 524 517 or www.zinpro.com.