February 28, 2019
It's most often the little things that get overlooked which caused the calves to get sick. Here are some things to pay attention to when trying to prevent calf diseases:
1) Maternity pen and calf transportation equipment
One of the areas that need extra attention is the maternity pen.
This is because calf enters the maternity environment immediately after birth.
Make sure it is clean and proper bedding materials are used to ensure calves remain healthy.
2) Navel dipping
Navel dipping is crucial to prevent disease and helps to give calves a healthy start.
It is encouraged to use a solution of at least 7% tincture of iodine to dip navels.
Immerse the full length of navel cord into the solution right up to the calf's belly.
Make sure the navel dipping equipment is clean as it would cause a lot of harmful effects if it is not disinfected properly.
3) Calf colostrum
Healthy calves require quality colostrum.
Always test the colostrum quality with a refractometer and make sure proper sanitation practices are followed when administering colostrum.
Always ensure the colostrum equipment is clean.
Esophageal feeders, bottles and nipples can serve as a direct pathway for harmful bacteria to enter calf.
4) Hutches and pens
Make sure hutches and pens are sanitized including all walls of the calf housing unit and the ground underneath it.
Poorly sanitized facility can be very harmful to the calves as they allow bacterial to transfer to the next cycle of calves.
Employees and visitors can be unsuspecting sources of calf disease.
Anyone working directly with the calves should use latex gloves as it will limit the transfer of harmful pathogens.
Shoes and clothes should also be cleaned and disinfected before entering a calf facility.
Paying attention to these details will ultimately prevent calf diseases and improve performance and health of the calves.