As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure so here are some tips to help prevent common problems affecting newborn calves.
New born calves are most susceptible to disease and rely only on immunity gained from the cows colostrum. Ensure new born calves get adequate colostrum, at least 3 litres within the first 2 hours after birth. At this point they are best able to absorb antibodies in the colostrum. Calves that do not receive colostrum are at greater risk of developing scours and other infections
Hygiene and cleanliness are also important to curb the spread of disease. Calving areas should be cleaned out after each calving, with clean dry bedding used. Calving equipment such as calving jacks, ropes, bottle feeders etc. should also be cleaned after each use. New born calves are highly susceptible to infection via the navel shortly after birth, joint ill or navel ill can be prevented by practicing good hygiene, adequate colostrum intake and by treating the navel with a disinfectant shortly after birth. (an iodine solution works well).
Where there is a history of scour problems on a farm, a vaccination programme may be necessary to deal with it. Consult with your vet on developing an appropriate programme for your farm, specific to the type of scour present. Cows are generally vaccinated 12-3 weeks before calving, cows then develop antibodies to fight against the scour causing bacteria. Again crucially, for a vaccination programme to work the calf must consume adequate colostrum in order to absorb these antibodies and develop immunity to the infection.
For further advice on any of the above, please contact a member of the Moocall team to speak to some of our breeding specialists on +353 1 96 96 038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about the Moocall Calving Sensor here: https://moocall.com/pages/moocall-calving-sensor-information