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Dry Cow Feeding Can Beat Calf Diarrhoea

06 March 2015

AUSTRIA – Diarrheal viruses can be minimised with sufficient nutrition of the dam prior to calving and optimal care in neonatal stages, Austrian farmers are hearing.

Well-functioning calf immune systems are programmed before birth, says the Land Chamber, emphasising the importance of hygiene and colostrum to healthy calves.

“It is important to provide the cow appropriate amounts of concentrated feed,” said a chamber spokesperson. “Don’t administer too much concentrated feed, this leads to fatty degeneration of the cow and dystocia.”

Dry period nutrition may require supplementation with mineral mixtures, the spokesperson added.

New born calves should be fed colostrum in the first two hour of life, making sure immunoglobins are received.

“Because the content of the colostrum of immunoglobins decreases rapidly, the calf can only fully benefit within about two hours of birth,” advised the chamber.

“Colostrum should be administered at a rate of three to four litres and iron and selenium are important on the first day.”

The Land Chamber added that equipment is available for checking on colostrum quality and bacterial pathogens.

“Colostrum spindles or refractometers can check colostrum quality,” the Chamber explained. “Should there be diarrhoea, there are also rapid tests for the barn so treatments can be selected.”

TheCattleSite News Desk


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