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Top Tips for Calf Rearing

By now calf sheds all over the district will be filling up, which means that it's important to have a solid system in place to ensure that you give your future herd the best start.

Our top tips for raising a happy and healthy calf are:

1. Colostrum management – arguably the most important point

  • Colostrum fed to calves must be above 22 Brix as measured on a refractometer.

  • Calves need to be fed 10% of their body weight of this good quality colostrum in their first 12hrs of life.

  • Ensure good hygiene when feeding colostrum as newborn calves are at the greatest risk of illness.

2. Stocking rate

  • 1.5-2.5m2 per calf

  • 10 (maximum 20) calves per pen

3. Hygiene

  • Fresh, clean, dry bedding

  • Vetsan Super Concentrate for regular disinfection

  • Zorbifresh to absorb moisture in bedding & remove ammonia/nitrates

4. Sick animal prevention

  • Multimin - when given at birth it will halve the amount of clinical disease in your calves

  • Exagen – Milk additive to aid in prevention of Crypto

5. Sick animal treatment

  • Quarantine sick animals to minimize spread (feed them last)

  • Treatment of scouring calves is based on rehydration with electrolytes

6. Navels

  • Spray navels with iodine solution as calves are picked up, & again when moved from trailer into calf shed

  • Saturate the navel well with the iodine tincture

If you feel that you have an abnormal number of sick calves, or wish to discuss further, please give us a call.

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