It has been said that the supply of calves may outstrip demand this year and that’s why it’s paramount that calves are in optimum health and condition when presented for sale this spring.
That’s according to Teagasc’s John Hardy, who provided a number of guidelines in a video released by Teagasc.
He highlighted that newborn calves have no immunity at birth and they gain passive immunity through colostrum. It is important that calves receive 3-litres of clean colostrum (first milking) within the first two hours of birth.
- Clear, bright eyes;
Joris Somers, veterinary advisor at Glanbia Ireland, is urging farmers to implement a calf health programme.
He outlined that scour is the biggest killer in calves within the first month of life. The pathogens that play a role here are rotavirus, coronavirus, e-oli and crypto.
In terms of cryptosporidium, hygiene is paramount, so, therefore, you should intensively wash and disinfect your calving shed.
“One calves reach over one-month, we are into the pneumonia stage where this is the biggest risk,” explained Somers, who added that farmers should review ventilation, drainage and bedding.
Two of the most common pathogens that cause pneumonia in young calves are RSV and PI3 viruses; vaccinates are available to protect calves before those viruses enter a calf’s respiratory system.