We saw quite a few outbreaks of severe diarrhea in mobs of calves last year. This is such a costly problem in terms of people’s time and stress, as well as calf health of course. It is worth underlining the vital importance of colostrum. Calves need warm Gold Colostrum in adequate volumes (2-4 litres) in the first 16 hours of life. Each individual calf needs monitoring to ensure it drinks enough on arrival in the shed, otherwise it should be tube fed. Ideally, calves get collected twice a day. Dirt binds antibodies, so it is important that colostrum vats and milk buckets / feeders are all cleaned and disinfected frequently. Gold colostrum is best chosen by testing fresh cows’ colostrum for protein levels using a Refractometer. Other important things to remember are having:
- clean, dry pens with solid partitions
- regular disinfection
- hospital pens for sick calves, and
- boot disinfectant by the doors.