LIRA GOLD® Electrolytes For Replacing Lost Fluids And Managing Heat Stress
Maintaining proper fluid balance is critical for animals to thrive, especially in young calves and in the milking herd. Rapidly developing young stock are bombarded with environmental stressors that have a greater impact on them at that age than when they are older.
In addition, during bouts of scours (diarrhea), even mild scours, calves can quickly lose electrolytes.
During the summer months, high temperatures and high humidity can place a lot of environmental stress on the milking herd and lead to drops in milk production. It is not uncommon for dairy producers to report 8-12# of milk production drop per cow during the peak summer months, that can include from May-September in the northern area of the country and longer in southern geographies.
In addition, new research is coming out showing that pregnant milk cows that go through unmanaged heat stress will have a direct impact on birth weights, organ weights and higher rates of cell death in the intestines of the calf she was carrying. They reported that this appeared to contribute to the calf’s ability to absorb the immune factors from colostrum that compromised this essential transfer from mother to calf.
It is also good to keep an eye on winter hydration needs as humidity falls and water consumption may be impacted by cold temperatures.
Feeding a premium source of electrolytes, essential minerals, protein and energy to your dairy animals will encourage water consumption and maintain acceptable levels of hydration due to heat stress and other environmental stressors they may encounter.
What Are Electrolytes For Livestock?
Electrolytes are key minerals, like sodium, calcium, potassium that are vital for the normal functioning of critical body systems, including muscles and the nervous system
To ensure that proper hydration during times when animals are losing electrolytes, properly formulated electrolyte solutions should be administered.
Oral Electrolytes For Hydration Should Include These Ingredients:
The following ingredients are important for ensuring proper hydration in young stock.
- Water – The essential ingredient
- Sodium – Needs to be tightly balanced to avoid too little and too much. Also balance 1-1 ratio with glucose supplied
- Typical sources on label – salt and other sodium containing compounds
- Glucose – Dextrose is an excellent choice for supplying glucose and when 1-1 ratio with sodium helps support proper absorption of sodium
- Other electrolyte minerals
- Glycine – Glycine supports electrolyte absorption, fecal consistency and the normal mucous lining of the GI tract
- Alkalizing Agents – Fed to help minimize metabolic acidosis and can provide a little energy
- Usually attached to sodium or citrate and commonly can be added as sodium bicarbonate
- Bicarbonates and citrates can inhibit curd formation in the gut so be sure to feed 4 hours after feeding milk
- In addition, added benefit can be offered with these ingredients to support livestock requiring hydration support
- Lactose – easy to digest form of energy and helps absorption of calcium
- Milk Proteins – supplies added protein supplementation during rehydration
- Probiotics – helps maintain normal digestive health and support natural gut microbiome, especially if antibiotics are being administered
LIRA GOLD® Offers Multiple Electrolytes for Hydration
We offer oral electrolytes that are mixed in water to administer to calves as well as HydroLyte COW, a convenient, broad range electrolyte formulation that is mixed directly into their ration or can be top dressed.
The LIRA GOLD® products on this page, including HydroLyte Calf and HydroLyte COW, contain many of the above ingredients that are formulated to replenish lost electrolytes, maintain proper hydration and provide additional ingredients that help support digestive health.