It all begins with good quality colostrum.
If you look around in journals, magazines, the internet and other publications on calf scours they all agree on one thing. Giving a newborn calf enough and on time good quality colostrum is the most important thing to do asap.
This way you ensure for the young calf to have the best chances of growing into a healthy cow or bull. Well, that’s nothing new you might say and I agree, everyone knows this. But there is a huge difference between knowing and acting accordingly. There are several excuses why you haven’t given the young calf enough colostrum on time. I’m not going to name them here, you can think of a few yourself.
- How much time does it take you to give a calf enough colostrum on time? Fifteen minutes the first day if you are feeding the calf 3 times a day?
- How much time does it take to treat a really sick calf? A half hour for 5 days? What are the extra costs?
- If a calf gets scours, this calf has a lasting backlog in growth compared to a healthy calf.
- This calf is more susceptible to other diseases like pneumonia or mastitis later in its live and can be a source of infection for other calves and cows.
- It can get less fertile as an adult cow.
- The quality of its meat can be less compared to a healthy cow or bull.
My point is that by investing just a little more time in prevention can save you later on a lot of time and costs. If you take into account that you don’t have the drawbacks I mentioned above, you will end up with more profits than you might think of in the first place!
The problem is that you will never know exactly what profits you haven’t made by neglecting the so very important first day of a calf’s live.
I hope I’ve given you enough reasons to reflect on the importance of providing enough good quality colostrum on time. And now I’d like you to know how you can implement a good colostrum management system.