Is the NMAT worth trying

As a result of a poor iron supply, blood formation can be disturbed and anemia can occur even in the small calves. The immune system of these calves can also be weakened because iron is involved in the production of antibodies. At the Hofgut Neumühle teaching and research institute, the iron supply status was therefore examined in 50 calves and an iron supplement was administered to the newborns.
Blood was drawn from the calves on the 4th and 14th day of life and the hemoglobin content (iron-containing proteins in red blood cells), the hematocrit value (cellular blood components) and the iron content were examined. All calves received colostrum in the first week of life. In the second week, half of the calves received whole milk, the other half MAT.
Results of experiment 1:
  • The examinations showed that on the 4th day of life 33% of the calves suffered from a severe iron deficiency. A slight deficiency occurred in 25%.
  • On the 14th day of life it was shown that the MAT calves were cared for a little better than the whole milk calves. 33% of the MAT calves still had a severe iron deficiency, but 42% were adequately supplied. In the whole milk calves, however, only 25% had a sufficient iron supply.

  • The examinations showed that on the 4th day of life 33% of the calves suffered from a severe iron deficiency. A slight deficiency occurred in 25%.
  • On the 14th day of life it was shown that the MAT calves were cared for a little better than the whole milk calves. 33% of the MAT calves still had a severe iron deficiency, but 42% were adequately supplied. In the whole milk calves, however, only 25% had a sufficient iron supply.

Because of the poor iron supply that still occurred on day 14 of life, the calves were given iron in the first two days after birth. The animals received either an iron syringe (1000 mg iron-dextran) or a paste that was added to the colostrum. The hemoglobin and iron values ​​were again determined on the 4th and 14th day of life. As a control, blood was also drawn from 13 calves that were not receiving iron.
Results of experiment 2:
  • On average, both the calves given an oral iron dose and those given an injection had higher hemoglobin and iron values ​​than the control animals. The highest values ​​were found in the calves that were orally supplied with iron (Table 1).


  • If one deduces the iron supply from the hemoglobin values, it was found that 77% of the calves were adequately supplied with iron by the mouth on the 4th day of life. As a result of the injection, 63% of the calves showed an adequate iron supply. In the case of the untreated animals, however, the care was only satisfactory in 23% of the calves.
  • The blood test on day 14 showed that 92% of the group that received oral iron supplementation were optimally supplied. In the group with an iron injection, 82% were satisfactorily cared for.

control

Iron delivery via mouth

Iron syringe

4th LT

14th LT

4th LT

14.LT

4th LT

14th LT

Number of calves

13

13

13

13

24

22

Severe iron deficiency

46%

31%

15%

8%

13%

0%

Slight iron deficiency

31%

46%

8%

0%

25%

18%

Sufficient supply

23%

23%

77%

92%

63%

82%

  • On average, both the calves given an oral iron dose and those given an injection had higher hemoglobin and iron values ​​than the control animals. The highest values ​​were found in the calves that were orally supplied with iron (Table 1).

  • If the iron supply is deduced from the hemoglobin values, it was found that 77% of the calves were adequately supplied with iron via the mouth on the 4th day of life. As a result of the injection, 63% of the calves showed an adequate iron supply. In the case of the untreated animals, however, the care was only satisfactory in 23% of the calves.
  • The blood test on day 14 showed that 92% of the group that received oral iron supplementation were optimally supplied. In the group with an iron injection, 82% were satisfactorily cared for.

Despite the iron administration, 15% (oral iron) and 13% (iron injection) of the calves still showed a severe iron deficiency.
From these results, the following can be found Tipsfor calf rearing:
  • The calves should be given iron after birth. This can not only be administered via an injection but also orally.
  • The iron content of whole milk is 0.5 mg / l. Since a supply of 100 mg iron per animal and day is recommended today, this amount cannot be covered by milk alone. That is why whole milk should be supplemented with a whole milk supplement.
  • When using MAT, the specified iron content in the powder must be observed.
  • The calves should start feeding as early as possible. With 0.5 kg DM (concentrate and basic feed) per day, sufficient supply can be assumed.

Source: Andrea Höller DLR Eifel, Dr. Wolfram Klawonn LUA Koblenz, Dr. Karl Landfried Hofgut Neumühle
  • The calves should be given iron after birth. This can not only be administered via an injection but also orally.
  • The iron content of whole milk is 0.5 mg / l. Since a supply of 100 mg iron per animal and day is recommended today, this amount cannot be covered by milk alone. That is why whole milk should be supplemented with a whole milk improver.
  • When using MAT, the specified iron content in the powder must be observed.
  • The calves should start feeding as early as possible. With 0.5 kg DM (concentrate and basic feed) per day, sufficient supply can be assumed.