With calving season upon us, beef producers should be aware of the dangers of vitamin deficiencies in their gestating cows and the effect that has on their newborn calves. During winter months, gestating cows with no access to green-grass may be deficient in fat-soluble vitamins A and E. The cow’s vitamin deficiency inhibits the transfer of fat-soluble vitamins to the newborn calf through colostrum. This leaves newborn calves in danger of serious health issues, including diarrhea, pneumonia and weak calf syndrome. Newborn calves are naturally fat-soluble vitamin deficient and totally dependent upon colostrum to meet their fat-soluble vitamin needs. The vitamins should be restored to proper levels through nursing in order to maintain vital vigor and health, provided colostrum is adequate in fat-soluble vitamins.
In a study conducted by Delores Gockowski, DVM, North Ridge Veterinary Services, Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota, calves injected with 5 mL of Stuart Products’ VITAL E®-NEWBORN at birth increased serum levels of vitamin A, vitamin D and, especially, vitamin E. The injected calves significantly increased their serum alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) levels from .4 to 16.41 ppm within 24 hours, while non-injected calves did not show an improvement. Vitamin A and vitamin D status was also dramatically improved after injection with the Stuart Products vitamin supplementation.
Concerned beef producers are increasingly choosing to rely on Stuart Products, a global leader in the development of natural-source vitamins for production animals. Producers with winter/spring-born calves should consider injecting vitamins A, D and especially E to aid in the prevention of newborn calf illness such as diarrhea, pneumonia and weak calf syndrome. Stuart Products has developed a university and field-tested injectable source of critically important vitamins A, D and E for the newborn calf.
Cautions to Consider
Dr. Gockowski’s study revealed that supplementing both selenium and vitamin E are necessary to effectively address deficiencies of these nutrients. “If dams are receiving a high quality mineral, selenium will cross the placenta to the calves, but vitamin E does not. Producers are missing an important part of animal health if they rely on granular minerals alone,” says Dr. Gockowski.
Another important caution for producers is to recognize that dosages must be correct in order for calves to receive adequate benefit. “Other products on the market might mention vitamin E on their ingredient list, but careful label reading is important to ensure calves are getting the right dosage,” says Dr. Stuart. Each ml of Stuart products VITAL E-NEWBORN contains 500 International Units (I.U.) vitamin E (as d-alpha-tocopherol), 50,000 I.U. vitamin A (as retinyl-palmitate) and 50,000 I.U. vitamin D3. Critically, only Stuart Products brand injectable vitamins contain the palmitate form of vitamin A, the only biologically active form.