Calf scours is a big problem throughout the year, but the upcoming fall season will only increase the challenges your calves are facing. When you went through a major outbreak of scours in the past you that you never want to go through that ever again. That’s why it is so important to have a good scours prevention program.
I read an article recently that describes very well what you should do to minimize the chances of your calves suffering from scours. One of the salient things is that you should begin early enough with vaccinating your cows. The cows need some time to build up enough antibodies in their blood before they can pass it on to the colostrum. Colostrum production begins 4 to 6 weeks prior to calving, so the cows need to have enough antibodies in their blood stream before that time.
Proper nutrition is another important issue you should take into account as a part of the scours prevention program. Why? If a cow receives good quality nutrition it will respond better to vaccinations and thus is better capable of producing enough antibodies. Another obvious benefit with good nutrition in the last months before calving is that the dam is better prepared for the next lactation. So the conclusion is, with proper nutrition, both the dam as well as her calf will benefit.
The third part of a good scours prevention program is naturally the housing of the calves. Stalls or hutches need to be disinfected before a newborn calf will use it. Enough ventilation, without draft and a dry bedding are other key things to ensure for your calves to have a healthy environment.
Finally, when your calves are born, provide them asap with enough colostrum that can only have the needed quality if you vaccinate your cows in time with the right vaccinations. A good thing you might do is compare different suppliers of scours vaccinations. You’ll learn that there are many differences among them. Use the one that fits your needs best.
If you implement all the above measurements you will probably spend less time and money to keep your calves and the dams healthy. Two reasons more to consider starting with a structured scours preventing program! Want to learn more about these programs? Just click here!