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Management Systems

The Importance of Management Systems to Your Calves’ Health By Bruce Derksen for American Dairymen Magazine

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key for a dairy calf to begin a healthy productive life is the proper amount of quality colostrum delivered at the correct time enhancing the ability to develop immunity to disease. Assuming that this has taken place, there are some management practices that can be used including vaccinations, parasite and fly control, bio-security, consistency, isolation, stress control and cleanliness to enhance the chances of a calf continuing to enjoy a healthy, stress free, productive life. Generally speaking, a dair y calf’s good health throughout their life should be enough to deliver the desired result. A good first step toward this goal is a vaccination program, but even though it would be so much easier, there really is no such thing as a universal

vaccination system. Each farm, area and herd is different and a plan must be tailored specifically to each dairy’s unique needs and requirements. From the moment of birth, calves are exposed to infectious organisms, and their natural defence mechanisms are designed to

block the establishment of disease, but things don’t always go the way they are planned and at times sickness will take hold. Be on guard against scours and regularly check your calves body temperatures to assist in the observations and diagnosis of potential clinical problems like pneumonia and work with your veterinarian to establish a vaccination plan designed for your farm’s needs. Through the summer season, heat stress can weaken a calf’s immunity and make them susceptible to bacterial infections. Calves do best when their thermal environment is * Continued on page 12

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August 2018

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American Dairymen August 2018  
American Dairymen August 2018