Inflammation: arresting the hidden milk thief

Successful transition is essential for a successful lactation. Reducing inflammation in the 30 days
both pre- and post-calving can play a big role in improving lactation performance and lifetime
productivity. Dr Huw McConochie from Zinpro Corporation highlights key areas where a
management focus will reduce the risk of excessive inflammation during transition.

Why is inflammation the hidden milk thief? Inflammation is the body’s response to injury. It signals the immune system to heal and repair tissues, as well as prevent infections. Glucose is a crucial energy source for all functions in the cow. In early lactation any inflammation causes glucose to be diverted from production as the cow will always look after herself first. The greater the inflammation, the more production will be affected. Cows respond to negative energy supply by increasing the mobilization of body reserves which activates immune cells. Extreme negative energy balance is associated with a greater immune response, diverting even more glucose from production. While a low level of inflammation is a normal part of transition, the key is to keep the incidence as low as possible to free glucose for production. Feeding Availa®Zn is scientifically proven to help reduce the severity of inflammation and keep glucose flowing.

Inflammation limits the glucose available for milk production and has a negative effect on
reproduction and claw health.

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