Well-functioning immune system helps maintain healthy dairy cows
Dairy cows are continually faced with stressful events throughout the lactation cycle that can adversely affect their immune system, creating opportunities for infection and illness.
Many events, like calving or weather, produce visibly noticeable signs of stress; however, others such as cow comfort, pregnancy and lactation are more subtle. Both challenge the cow’s immune system and both can result in cows becoming more susceptible to disease, resulting in significant economic costs to the dairy operation.
OmniGen-AF®, from Phibro Animal Health Corporation, is a nutritional supplement that can help support a cow’s natural immune function. A well-functioning immune system is vital to maintaining overall cow health and can help lower somatic cell counts and decrease the incidence of mastitis and metritis, which allows for better milk production and milk quality.
Michigan dairy places priority on good immune function
Swiss Lane Dairy in Alto, Mich., feeds OmniGen-AF year-round to its 2,000-cow herd. Co-owner Tom Oesch says he observed the product benefits when he previously served as a dairy consultant, and now it’s part of the feeding strategy for dry, transition and lactating cows on his own operation.
“We began experiencing some challenges about a year ago that went away after we decided to start feeding OmniGen-AF because of its immune- boosting benefits,” he explains. “Our goal is to have healthy cows and keep them in the herd as long as possible. With OmniGen-AF, I really feel like we’ve seen an increase in our overall herd health.”
Oesch says good nutrition is part of the dairy’s overall management approach to meet its production objectives. “Our goal is 100 pounds of milk per cow, per day,” he says. “When you expect cows to perform like that at a consistent level, good immune function needs to be a priority as part of a balanced diet.”