Hygiene vital in fighting infection
Even if you have excellent colostrum management, good hygiene is still critical.
Animal Health Ireland has a comprehensive calf scour information leaflet available to download from www.animalhealthireland.ie. It includes advice on how to prevent scour by keeping infectious risks to a minimum.
Keeping the calf comfortable, dry and clean is important through all stages of calf rearing, whether that is in the calving area, calf housing and bedding or on pasture.
Cryptosporidia, in particular, can cause severe diarrhoea, even in calves that have received adequate amounts of colostrum, if the hygiene is poor.
Some basic hygiene rules are important to follow, no matter what system you use:
* Individual or group calf pens or hutches must be cleaned out between calves.
* Clean, dry bedding is essential wherever your calf is housed. This can be done by cleaning out regularly or by generously topping up a straw bed. Get down on your knees -- the bed needs to be dry enough so that your knees do not get wet.
* As the calving season progresses there is a tendency for infection to build up. It is important to have your calf housing as clean at the end of the season as at the start.