Dairy farmers aren’t strangers to hypocalcemia. After all, low blood calcium is common after calving by as much as 73%. However, how these cows are managed and treated over time certainly adds up. A University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Dairy Production Medicine, Luciano Caixeta, shares that hypocalcemia affects cows in different ways. In a study of 300 multiparous dairy cows, researchers found four groups related to blood calcium emerged.

Normocalcemia, or calcium levels that didn’t drop too low comprised 41% of the group. Transient cows that dropped and rebounded made up 13%, persistent cows that dropped and did not fully rebound made up 19%, and the remaining 27% were cows that delayed drop and did not rebound fully. Data shows that cows with low blood calcium only on the day of calving developed fewer diseases and were less likely to be removed from the herd. What does this mean for dairy farmers? Timing calcium supplements correctly reduces hypocalcemia-related problems.

Read more on the data here.