Effect of oral calcium bolus supplementation on rumination and activity patterns in early lactation dairy cows
Keywords:hypocalcemia, dairy cattle, multiparous, Calcium supplements, normocalcemic, calving, ruminating
Subclinical hypocalcemia occurs frequently in multiparous dairy cattle during early lactation. Calcium supplements are widely used in an attempt to mitigate the substantial negative effects of subclinical hypocalcemia on health and production. Cows with subclinical hypocalcemia spend less time ruminating than normocalcemic cows. The objective of this study was to determine whether oral supplementation of calcium at calving and 12 h after calving was associated with changes in rumination or activity patterns in multiparous Holstein cows. Our hypothesis was that cows supplemented with oral calcium at calving would spend more time ruminating and have altered activity compared with unsupplemented cows during early lactation.