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Monthly Archives: November 2019

Two Alta 4-EVENT COWS in your maternity pen

Everyone knows that the journey to 4-EVENT COW status starts at freshening.

Or does it?

Think about your maternity pen. In there, you have the new dam and her female calf. The cow just started her journey to 4-EVENT COW status by recording FRESH as her first mark in the 4-EVENT COW circle.

The one we often forget about when thinking of Alta 4-EVENT COWS is her female calf. If this newborn is not given the best possible start, right from birth, she may not even get the chance to record that first mark in the 4-EVENT COW cycle.

So how do we help both of them become future Alta 4-EVENT COWS?

Getting THE COW off to the right start after calving

When your farm’s transition, maternity, fresh cow and nutrition programs are in good order, you up your chances of creating more of those healthy, trouble-free Alta 4-EVENT COWS – both from the calves born and cows that freshen.

Future reproductive troubles and health challenges often stem back to the transition period. So to help you get more of your cows on track to 4-EVENT status, we’ve got two things you can implement in your management strategy.

1. Activity and rumination monitoring systems like Alta COW WATCH will keep you ahead of any illness – usually before a major problem even occurs. With the repro, health and welfare of the cow in mind, Alta COW WATCH alerts you of potential health troubles throughout a cow’s lactation. This is especially critical in the fresh pen, because it allows you to use preventive measures instead of reactionary treatment. That will save you time and labor, and treatment costs, and give you peace of mind.

Alta COW WATCH logo for Facebook

2. A nutritional calcium supplement, like RumiLife® CAL24™ given at calving, will get your cows off to the right start. CAL24 is the simplest way to promote proper calcium levels so you can also avoid the fresh cow problems that often accompany subclinical milk fever. Plus, you can give a full dose of two CAL24 boluses at once, right after calving, so you don’t need to catch each cow again 12 hours later. That saves time, labor, and stress on you and the cow.

Image of RumiLife CAL24 boluses and boxes

Getting THE CALF off to the right start at birth

She’s still a couple years away, but this newborn calf can be a future Alta 4-EVENT COW if you give her the best care, right from the start. That includes keeping a clean environment, offering a low-stress entrance into the world, and remembering the 3 Q’s of colostrum after she’s born.

  1. Quickly – feed colostrum as soon as possible, and ideally within two hours after birth for optimal transfer of immunity
  2. Quantity – ensure that you feed colostrum with enough fat and enough IgGs
    • 100 grams of IgG is the minimum amount a calf needs
    • 150-200 grams of IgG is the gold standard to give that calf the best possible start
  1. Quality – if you use maternal colostrum, test it first with the Brix refractometer. Use the following guidelines to know whether a colostrum replacement or supplement, like Calf’s Choice Total® (CCT) Colostrum is needed.
    • Brix < 18%: Replace maternal colostrum with CCT.
    • Brix = 18%-22%: Supplement maternal colostrum with CCT.
    • Brix = 22%-25%: Supplementation is optional for excellent passive transfer of immunity.
    • Brix > 25%: No supplement is required.

The first meal is the most important one that a calf will ever have. It’s a known fact that calves have fewer health problems when they’re given the best immunity and energy in their first meal – colostrum. Studies show that proper colostrum management lends way to higher average daily gains (ADG), which in turn yields higher production levels once that calf freshens in for the first time.

So in that calf’s first hours, keep these 3 Q’s of colostrum in mind, to help set her up for a successful future as an Alta 4-EVENT COW.

Image of CCT Colostrum bags and pail options

Help them both become Alta 4-EVENT COWS

The calf and cow in your maternity pen can both be future 4-EVENT COWS in your herd. Start them on their way by getting them off to the right start after calving and the right start at birth.

Work with your trusted Alta advisor to see how you can incorporate Alta COW WATCH, RumiLife CAL24, and CCT Colostrum in your herd, or learn more about each, at the links below:

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Top 5 reasons to include CAL24 in your fresh cow protocol

Are you giving your cows the best possible chance to become an Alta 4-EVENT COW? A proper fresh cow protocol is part of that equation.

Giving cows RumiLife CAL24 calcium supplement after calving to promote proper calcium levels is one way to get your cows off to the best possible start in their lactation. Even when anionic salts are part of your program, subclinical milk fever is likely still an issue that you’re dealing with – even when you don’t see any symptoms.

So here are the top five reasons to include a calcium supplement like RumiLife CAL24 as part of your fresh cow SOP.

Subclinical milk fever is a real problem on dairy farms. Studies show that half of your mature cows are likely to have subclinical hypocalcemia, even if anionic salts are part of your nutrition program. ¹

That means that half, or more, of your cows will show no outward signs of milk fever, but will still experience the impaired muscle function and GI problems that result from improper calcium levels at calving.

A conservative cost of $125 per case of subclinical milk fever is calculated from lost production and a wide array of other health challenges the cow may experience because of the calcium imbalance.

Subclinical hypocalcemia can cost you four times more than clinical cases in your herd.¹

That may seem like a crazy statistic. But it makes sense when you consider the much higher prevalence of subclinical hypocalcemia, and the fact that these cows will experience the challenges related to low calcium levels, but are not treated since they show no outward signs.

It’s not hard to reap the benefits of including a nutritional calcium supplement like RumiLife CAL24 in your fresh cow protocols. And it’s even more important to pay close attention to specific groups of higher-risk cows.

A University of Minnesota Extension article tells us that you can yield a 180% return on investment by giving calcium boluses after calving to high producers or lame cows.²

Other issues
Studies prove that cows with subclinical hypocalcemia around freshening are much more likely to have other fresh cow problems and resulting reproductive challenges throughout their lactation. In fact, cows with hypocalcemia are 3.2 times more likely to have a retained placenta than cows with normal calcium levels at calving. Hypocalcemic cows also have more average days open, due to the uterine health challenges they go through after calving.¹

A calcium bolus does not replace an IV in clinical milk fever cases where the cow is down. But you’ll reap big benefits, and create more Alta 4-EVENT COWS, by using a nutritional calcium supplement like RumiLife CAL24 to address the cases of subclinical hypocalcemia that likely exists in your herd.

Healthy cow resting with text: Help her become an Alta 4-EVENT COW. It starts at calving
  1. Oetzel, G. R. (2014) Treatment and Prevention of Subclinical Hypocalcemia [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from
  2. Caixeta, L. (2019). Prevention and treatment of milk fever. Retrieved from University of Minnesota Extension website:
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Get your cows off to the right start after calving

with RumiLife CAL24 nutritional supplement.

You can only create those healthy, trouble-free Alta 4-EVENT COWS when you get them off to the right start after calving. Part of that means promoting proper calcium levels.

3 things you need to know about RumiLife® CAL24 nutritional supplement


And by that, we mean that you’ll save time and labor. How? Because you can give one dose of two CAL24 boluses right after calving. That means you don’t need to spend the extra time and labor to catch each fresh cow again to give a second bolus 12 hours later.

Plus, each bolus is a tapered shape, coated in vegetable fat and propylene glycol, which means it’s simple to administer.


One  two-bolus dose of RumiLife CAL24 contains 100 grams of highly absorbable calcium- more than any other supplement. Pair that with a combination of magnesium and vitamin D, and you promote optimal calcium absorption throughout the first 24 hours after calving.

Plus, each bolus is a tapered shape, coated in vegetable fat and propylene glycol, so it’s simple for any breed of cattle to swallow.


Because of the unique formulation, RumiLife CAL24 offers immediate and sustained release calcium. That means that one dose allows you to promote proper calcium levels in your fresh cows for the critical first 24 hours after calving.

What makes RumiLife CAL24 complete?

  • Calcium chloride provides immediately available calcium in the rumen
  • Calmin regulates calcium absorption over time.
    What is Calmin? It’s a highly-absorbable form of seaweed-derived calcium combined with magnesium, which allows for optimal calcium absorption in the rumen and beyond.
  • Vitamin D promotes improved calcium absorption, and helps facilitate active, sustained calcium transfer beyond the rumen.

Want to learn more about RumiLife CAL24? Find more details about the product HERE.

Healthy cow resting with text: Help her become an Alta 4-EVENT COW. It starts at calving
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