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Bovine vitamin deficiency

Avitaminosis in calves and cows often occurs at the end of winter, when during the winter period the animal has consumed all vitamins and minerals. If at the beginning of spring the animal has become lethargic and refuses to eat, then this is due to a lack of vitamins. A complete and balanced diet is an important factor in the health of cattle.

Vitamins for cattle

In order for the calf to grow well, develop and not suffer from vitamin deficiency, it is necessary to include useful supplements in the diet. To provide calves with fortified feed, it is necessary to know the feed rates.

Norms for a dairy heifer:

Age (months)

Carotene (mg)

Vit. D (ME)

Vit. E (mg)





































Standards for breeding bulls:

Age (months)

Carotene (mg)

Vit. E (mg)









Causes of vitamin deficiency

Calf vitamins are in the first place for full growth and development. With enough vitamin supplements, the body of young animals functions normally. With a deficiency, a malfunction occurs in the body, which leads to a decrease in milk yield. As a result, the farmer has no profit, and the cow suffers from vitamin deficiency.

Vitamins play an important role for the proper development of young animals and prevent the occurrence of vitamin deficiency:

  • support health, as each vitamin plays a specific role;
  • with the correct selection of vitamin supplements, pregnant cows tolerate childbirth better, and lactation proceeds normally;

    Important! When feeding a calf, the cow gives along with milk most of the nutrients, therefore, 2 weeks before calving, an adult animal is given a double vitamin dose.

  • in the dry period, they provide the basis for the full development of the fetus, and also prepare the cow for the upcoming lactation;
  • thanks to the fortified feeding, meat bulls quickly increase their body weight.

Vitamin deficiency symptoms

With an unbalanced diet without the addition of nutrients and microelements, the body of young animals suffers first of all. Avitaminosis is common in winter and early spring. This is due to the reduction in sunny days and the lack of green vegetation. In regions with severe winters, animals spend little time outdoors, which affects their health.

With vitamin deficiency, the animal is observed:

  1. Decreased appetite. This is due to the fact that the lack of nutrients responsible for the functioning of the digestive system provokes a partial rejection of feed, which leads to a sharp decrease in body weight.
  2. Low milk yield of cows. Lack of wholesome nutrition affects the quantity and quality of milk. If you approach feeding irresponsibly, then the cow can not only reduce milk yield, but also completely stop it.
  3. Reproductive passivity. With vitamin deficiency in breeding bulls, the desire for mating is lost. Burenki in this state are less likely to inseminate, and during gestation, a miscarriage often occurs or dead calves are born.
  4. Calves should not be allowed to suffer from vitamin deficiency, as they stop in growth and development.
  5. Meat breeds lose weight dramatically.
  6. Avitaminosis opens the door to chronic and infectious diseases.
  7. If an animal has a thorn, then vitamin deficiency can lead to blindness.

What vitamins are most often lacking

Most often, cows suffer from a lack of vitamins: A, B, D and E.

Due to the lack of carotene, milk yield decreases, vision deteriorates, and damaged skin is poorly regenerated.

Carotene deficiency in cows can be recognized by the following symptoms:

  • frequent inflammation of the eyes and mucous membranes;
  • a sharp loss of vision - animals stumble upon various objects, bow their head closer to the ground;
  • decrease in milk yield;
  • inflammation of the digestive and respiratory system;
  • violation of coordination of movement;
  • reproductive function is suppressed.

B vitamins renew blood cells, strengthen the nervous system, and are responsible for brain activity. Particular attention is paid to vitamin B12, as it is a good prevention of many infectious diseases and saves from anemia.

With its lack in cows, it is observed:

  • lack of appetite, which leads to thinness and slower growth of calves;
  • agitated state, nervousness;
  • skin diseases such as eczema, dermatitis;
  • inflammation of the joints;
  • cavalry gait. The cow raises high and bends its legs strongly;
  • early miscarriage and premature delivery of dead calves.

Vitamin D is responsible for the growth and development of the body. If it is not enough, the calf stops growing, and the supply of calcium stops, which leads to rickets, fragility of bones and teeth.

With a lack of calciferol in a calf, the following are observed:

  • periodontal disease, tooth loss;
  • rickets;
  • lameness;
  • pain on palpation in the ribs, joints, pelvic bones;
  • eating bones and stones, as well as licking various objects;
  • refusal to eat;
  • malfunction of the digestive system.

Important! Lactating cows and young calves born in winter or early spring often experience a shortage.

Cows enrich the body with calciferol through the use of green grass and when they are outdoors for a long time.

Vitamin E is responsible for the functioning of all internal organs, participates in metabolism and is responsible for the reproductive system. Lack of tocopherol affects the development of the fetus and is responsible for the health of young animals.

With a lack of tocopherol, the following symptoms appear in cows:

  • the cow does not become pregnant for a long time;
  • regular miscarriages;
  • stillborn fetuses;
  • diseases of the cardiovascular system;
  • the activity of spermatozoa in breeding bulls decreases;
  • the growth and development of calves stops;
  • meat breeds slowly build muscle mass.

With an acute shortage of tocopherol, paralysis of the limbs can occur.

Treatment of vitamin deficiency in cows

If, according to the symptoms, vitamin deficiency is detected in cows, treatment should be started immediately. To do this, you need to properly balance your diet and begin to provide assistance.

If there is a lack of carotene, the following is added to the feed:

  • "Biovit-80" - improves the digestive system and strengthens muscle tone;
  • "Eleovit" - increases immunity, the drug is recommended to be added to the feed for calves at birth;
  • "Vilofoss" - the drug saturates the body of cows with proteins and vitamins.

Also, carrots, fish oil, alfalfa hay, oatmeal and oat jelly are introduced into the diet. Kissel is prepared in the evening. For this, flakes or whole grains are poured with boiling water and covered with a warm blanket. During the night, the drink will infuse, and it can be given to the calf. For young animals at the age of 1 month, the daily dose should be 2.5 kg of jelly, and the norm of root crops is 2 kg.

If it is not possible to introduce carotene into the diet, it can be replenished with medication. For an adult pregnant cow, the daily oral intake should be 100 thousand IU, and for young calves, the dose is 1 million IU in the first feeding. Cows can also receive an intramuscular injection of 100,000 IU every 2 weeks.

Important! When treating vitamin deficiency, the dosage of drugs should be prescribed by a veterinarian after examining livestock.

At the first signs of vitamin B deficiency, you must immediately begin treatment without waiting for complications. Treatment consists of adding carrots, brewer's yeast and bran to the feed.

With an advanced form of vitamin deficiency, intramuscular injections of vitamin B12 are prescribed. To do this, use a 0.1% solution in a volume of 100 ml.

If the farmer detects the symptoms of an animal suffering from a lack of calciferol, then first of all it is separated from the general herd. The calf is transferred to a certain diet, more often taken out on sunny days for grazing, since the bright sun and green grass are the best helpers for vitamin deficiency.

With an advanced stage of vitamin deficiency, you need to use drug therapy. Before starting treatment, blood is taken from the cow for electrolyte levels.

Medical treatment of vitamin deficiency is carried out in several ways:

  • ultraviolet radiation - 10-15 minutes daily;
  • intramuscular injections with vitamin D at a dosage of 200 IU;
  • with a progressive disease, a 20% solution of calcium gluconate is prescribed;
  • intravenous injection of 10% calcium chloride.

To replenish the supply of tocopherol, an oil solution "Trivitamin" is used. The dosage is only prescribed by a veterinarian after a complete examination.

Advice! Avitaminosis is better prevented than cured.

Prevention measures

In order to prevent the appearance of vitamin deficiency, you must follow simple rules:

  1. Prepare fresh vegetables for the winter: carrots, potatoes, beets.
  2. Keep the stall clean and warm and well lit.
  3. Always add B vitamins to mixed feed, they are found in bran, vegetables, green hay, fodder and baker's yeast.
  4. In the spring-summer period, prepare silage - corn, clover. Bone meal and chalk are added to the feed. If it is not possible to keep the grass fresh, it is dried and fed to livestock in the form of hay.
  5. Sprouted wheat grains are added to the diet.
  6. On a frosty sunny day, cows are often taken out for a walk.


Avitaminosis in calves is a dangerous disease, since with a lack of vitamins, young animals lag behind in growth and development, milk yield in cows decreases, and beef breeds do not increase their body weight. Subject to the rules of care, introducing fortified supplements into the diet and carrying out regular walks, you can not be afraid of the development of a terrible ailment.

Watch the video: The Vitamin Deficiency Thats Wrinkling Your Face Linked to Low Bone Mass - Dr Alan Mandell, DC (May 2021).