What are the most important factors to help calves get off to a healthy, productive start and survive to adulthood? Dr. Jim Quigley, Technical and Research Manager for Provimi North America, offers his priorities in the latest issue of his Calf Notes newsletter.
His suggestions include:
- Colostrum – Measure IgG levels to ensure that calves are fed at least 150 grams of IgG in the first 24 hours of life, and measure serum total protein with a goal of 5.2 g/dL in at least 75% of the calves.
- Disease exposure – Strive to prevent the introduction of disease pathogens to calves via feeding equipment; feedstuffs (both liquid and dry); pests; and the humans who care for the calves.
- Calf housing – Limit pathogen exposure in calves’ environment by placing them in clean, dry, disinfected and well-ventilated housing.
- Maternity area – Provide clean, dry calving areas with one cow per calving pen. Get newborns out of the maternity area and into a clean hutch or pen as soon as possible.
- Commitment – Healthy calves must be a priority for everyone on the farm who plays a role in their development and care. Every person must take responsibility for his or her respective impact on the lives of calves
Source: Calf Notes.com, Calf Note #174, by Dr. Jim Quigley