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Mervit and healthy claw health during the stable period

tue, 25 nov 2014
With its Mervit mineral feeds, Nuscience offers the livestock farmer solutions responding to all dairy cattle needs. Mervit HEALTH was specifically developed to support cow health in general and to contribute to preventing and curing claw problems. After a very long growing season, all cattle is in the stable again. The stable period requires extra attention for claw health, in particular infectious conditions. Prevention is better than cure, even cows will agree. From recently published research it became apparent that heifers that suffered from mortellaro as young heifers have six times the probability to redevelop this infectious condition in later life than heifers that never suffered from the condition.

Mortellaro is a claw condition with major financial consequences. Of all economic losses due to claw problems, an average of 5,300 EUR per year in dairy farms with an average of 100 dairy cows, one third of this amount is caused by mortellaro. This was proven in research performed by Wageningen UR in 2009. The most problematic claw conditions, including mortellaro, are of a bacterial nature. In a stable environment, bacteria are able to develop better. In particular with moderate stable hygiene and dirty cows, infection pressure is high. This means it is important to decrease infection pressure in the stable as much as possible, aiming for excellent stable hygiene and a healthy climate, resulting in clean, dry claws.

For calves, heifers and cows prevention is the key to cattle with healthy claws. The key issues are:

  • Good stable hygiene for low infection pressure
  • Surfaces that are properly walkable inside and outside the stable to prevent mechanical damage (white-line defects)
  • Preventive trimming of claws to promote correct use of legs and prevent overload
  • Frequent foot baths if necessary to limit infectious conditions
  • Avoid buying animals
  • Balanced feed and gradual transition of the rations to prevent laminitis
  • Preventing heat stress
  • Supplementary minerals and vitamins to be added to enhance the quality of the skin and claws

Ask your Nuscience contact for more information.