Regardless of the system, dairy or beef, year round or block-calving, calf-rearer or suckler herd – youngstock health is of critical importance.
Cattle that are in productive systems are essentially athletes, under enormous metabolic strain every day. An adult dairy cow is under similar metabolic stress to a human marathon runner, every day, and a beef animal must gain more muscle mass per day than most humans can achieve in a year.
It is of vital importance therefore that animals entering these systems get the best start in life. Respiratory disease and scouring can cause irreparable but often unseen damage to the lungs and intestines, resulting in a reduced ability to perform as well as possible in their respective systems.
Prevention is key to ensure excellent calf health, however in order to usefully advise farmers, vets must first collect information on calf health. These visits usually involve a walk around the calf shed or pen to perform a calf score, analysis of the farmers mortality records or medicine book and taking samples of blood or faeces to check colostrum quality or for infectious disease.
Given the current weather and time of year, now is the time to book your calf health visit to ensure healthy youngsters at turnout!
Contact us to book a visit.
This article was taken from our November 2019 newsletter, which also contains information on sheep parasitic gastroenteritis.