At an already stressful time of the year , sick and scouring calves is frustrating and demoralising. Extra time spent having to look after these calves means:
1) less of a break for the calf rearer
2) less time spent putting your time energy into the healthy calves
3) lower growth rates in calves
4) potentially less replacements than required due to deaths.
Calves are born with no immune system, so require antibodies from their mother. These antibodies are not passed through the placenta; therefore, the only place calves can get the protection they need is from colostrum.
The three Q’s - Quickly, Quantity and Quality are the main aspects to colostrum management. Scours vaccines are an easy way to boost the Quality of your colostrum that you feed to your calves. These vaccines have been proven to reduce the scours in calves due to the main pathogens, including rotavirus, coronavirus (not related to
COVID -19), and E. coli. Scours vaccines need to be given at least 2 -3 weeks before the planned start of calving (depending on the vaccine used). If you have detailed scanning information the herd can be split into two vaccination groups, early and late calvers, that way ensuring the antibody levels are still adequate as the season progresses. It is important to note that vaccinating your cows alone is not enough to reduce calf scours. Vaccination only works when supported by good calf rearing management practices. There are a couple of different options of vaccines so give us a call to discuss these for your herd.