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Utah State University Extension
At calving, nutrient requirements of dairy cows increase to support milk synthesis. Energy and protein requirements are increased at the initiation of lactation (Moore et al., 2000). Additionally, calcium requirements increase tremendously to meet the demands of lactation (Moore et al., 2000). Calving and subsequent milk synthesis can cause calcium concentrations in the blood to drop. When the demand for calcium exceeds the cow’s ability to mobilize calcium, hypocalcemia (low blood calcium) occurs, which can negatively impact production. This fact sheet reviews hypocalcemia in dairy cows and how to implement hypocalcemia prevention strategies.
Motsinger, L. A., & Hadfield, J. A. (2022). Importance of a dietary cation-anion difference in peripartum dairy cows [Fact sheet]. Utah State University Extension.