A successful calf rearing system aims to produce a healthy calf which is capable of optimal performance throughout its lifetime.
To ensure the calf gets a healthy start, farmers must maximise its defence against disease and minimise a calf’s exposure to disease, according to David John – Area Sales Manager at Kersia.
Hygiene throughout the rearing system is vital; disease and infection in the first week of life will have costs associated with treatment and reduced feed and conversion resulting in poor growth, he added.
“50% of calf deaths are due to scours caused by poor hygiene on farms; however, if efficient hygiene management practices are put in place, these losses can be prevented.”
David highlighted that vaccination and medication play an important role in disease prevention; however, neither of these can offer complete effective or economical protection against the wide range of disease organisms that threaten calves.
“Biosecurity completes the armoury of protection, excluding disease organisms from the animal’s environment - this is the only way the cycle of disease can be broken,” David added.
“It is particularly important against the threat of so-called management diseases such as calf pneumonia and calf scours.”
Biosecurity can only be achieved through regular and comprehensive routines, using products that are proven to be effective against viral, bacterial and fungal disease organisms.
The simple stages of cleaning include:
- Mucking-out pens;
- Foaming – Usage Rate: 1-2% - Contact time: 30-minutes;
- Rinsing with clean weather – Allow the area to dry also;
- Disinfecting – Usage rate: Cyclex at 3% dilution – leave for 3-4-hours to get a 99.9% kill for Crypto;
- Re-bed pens with fresh straws – animals can be allowed back in after 4 hours.
For more information, please see Kersia’s website here.
Video produced and edited by TF Media.