Dr. Eckel

Inflammation: The risk to profitability and animal welfare

Inflammatory reactions play a crucial role in the everyday life of farm animals. If stress and inflammatory risks get out of hand, the immune system is activated. This not only weakens the health and well-being of the animals, it also costs them extra energy. In cows, for example, this can lead to an additional consumption of more than one kilogram of glucose per day. Energy that the animals not only lack in milk production, but which is urgently needed especially in critical phases. A particularly crucial phase in which cows are basically in an energy deficit is calving.

If the animals have to spend additional energy on immune defence during this time, this not only leads to a reduction in body fat, but is also a risk for liver health and the immune system. This has consequences that even extend beyond birth: Publications show that in some cases up to 40 percent less energy is available for further milk production.

Often, however, the clinical symptoms of these inflammations, such as ketosis, reduced fertility or suboptimal performance, go unnoticed. Inflammation parameters are also not always obvious. Therefore, to determine how inflammation can be influenced, the easiest parameter to use is performance.

Phytogenic complexes such as Anta®Ox FlavoSyn (Dr Eckel) have been shown to reduce inflammation and thus directly improve animal performance. But how early should they be added? A recent feeding trial shows a clear influence even before calving on subsequent milk yield and milk quality. These results show: Anta®Ox is the right support for strong, high-yielding dairy cows at any time of the year.

To investigate whether Anta®Ox FlavoSyn can improve milk yield even before calving, 248 cows were observed in a field trial from the beginning of the transit phase to the end of lactation. 138 cows received Anta®Ox FlavoSyn in a dosage of 50 g per cow/day as an addition to the TMR in the period from 18 days to calving.

First lactation cows (control: n=26; Anta®Ox: n=29) showed an increase in milk yield of 1.42 kg/cow/day (control: 29.53 kg vs. Anta®Ox: 30.95 kg). Apparently, especially the first 100 days after calving are decisive. Here, a difference of 1.37 kg/cow and day (31.71 kg versus 33.08 kg) is already evident.