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GETTING CALVES OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT THIS CALVING SEASON

by ImmuCell Sales and Marketing Regional Manager Janie Sustaita

The fall calving season is upon us, and soon all of considered. 3) Timing is everything. Calves start to lose the ability the dollars invested in getting a single cow bred, fed and to absorb antibodies at six hours of age and generally cared for the past year will come to fruition. But, just can no longer absorb them at 24 hours. Any delay in the as importantly as getting that cow calved out, is making consumption of colostrum puts a calf ’s health in jeopardy. sure that the newborn calf is on the path to success. A First-calf heifers and aggressive cows should be monitored scours prevention plan is critical in making sure that your to make sure they allow the calf to nurse. Calves that seem investment in both cow and calf is not wasted. lethargic should also be watched. Tube-feeding colostrum Newborn calf management begins with a quality should be considered in lieu of letting more time pass. colostrum. Calves are born without any immune protection, 4) Colostrum does not guarantee protection. Calves fed and they rely on the antibodies found in colostrum to protect them from diseases. But, several outside factors can influence colostrum are not guaranteed to be scour-free. Colostrum provides a general mass of antibodies. To insure calves are the quantity and quality of colostrum consumed by the calf. protected from the first diseases they are exposed to after Studies show that if calves do not consume adequate birth, like E. coli and coronavirus, producers are encouraged levels of high-quality colostrum soon after birth, they are to consider complementing colostrum with USDA approved prone to higher levels of pre-weaning sickness and death antibody products. Concentrated antibody products can be loss. According to the National Animal Health Monitoring System Beef 2007 study, scours and other digestive problems fed to calves at the same time as colostrum. These products provide a guaranteed level of specific antibodies to provide accounted for 14 percent of losses in calves less than 3 immediate immunity. Products are available in bolus, gel weeks old. and powder forms, and are even offered in some colostrum Producers must be sure their calves are getting enough replacer and supplement formulas for added value. high-quality colostrum to promote newborn calf health and Consult your veterinarian or animal health specialist long-term growth potential. Here are a few things to keep in to develop a scours prevention plan that works for your mind when working to achieve this goal: operation. The future of your herd is in your hands. 1) Antibody levels are not guaranteed by the cow. There For more information, contact Janie Sustaita, sales and is no guarantee as to how many antibodies will be transferred marketing regional manager with ImmuCell Corporation, at from the bloodstream of the cow to the mammary system, (559) 679-5482, or jsustaita@immucell.com. or just how much colostrum the cow will make. Pre-calving vaccination protocols can help elevate the amount of antibodies in the bloodstream, but they can’t be guaranteed either. The immune response of the cow plays a role in determining the potential antibodies available. 2) Quality and quantity are key. A calf should consume at least four quarts of a high-quality colostrum to receive adequate protection, and a variety of factors can impact how much colostrum a calf consumes. First-calf heifers tend to produce less colostrum, as do cows entering calving season with IMMUCELL Š body condition scores lower than 6 on a 9-point scale. If colostrum quality or quantity is in question, a colostrum A scours prevention plan is critical in making sure that your investment in both cow and replacer or supplement should be calf is not wasted this calving season. Make sure your newborn calf is on the path to success. 22 California Cattleman September 2014

Sept 2014 online  
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