Investigation of the relationship between serum calcium status of the dam at parturition and survival, vigor, health and growth of neonatal dairy calves


Team: Godden, S.  (PI), Bisinotto, R.  (Co-PI), Schefers, J., Leslie, K., Haines, D., Murray, C.

Funding Sources: Boehringer Ingelheim Vemedica Inc. and CVM Hatch Funds.  

Project Time Frame: 2017

It is well understood that hypocalcemia in periparturient cows significantly increases a cow’s susceptibility and risk for mastitis, retained fetal membranes, displaced abomasum (DA), dystocia, and ketosis (Curtis et al., 1983). It is also associated with dystocia, possibly due to uterine inertia resulting in prolonged time to delivery. However, the literature describing the effect of dam’s hypocalcemia on neonatal calf is extremely sparse. The objective of this study is to investigate if a relationship exists between subclinical hypocalcemia at calving with survival, health, and performance of neonatal dairy calves. We hypothesize that calf survival, vitality, health, and performance will be impaired in calves born to hypocalcemic cows as compared to normocalcemic cows.