Calf diarrhoea is a complex, costly and devastating disease and providing your calves with specific antibodies against the big players in this field is an important part of the prevention of outbreaks. If given at the right time colostrum vaccines (such as Rotavec) will boost the concentration of IgG antibodies in the colostrum and then lead to providing your calves with increased, specific antibodies against certain diseases.
However, colostrum management needs to be optimised to maximise the benefit of the use of these vaccines. Colostrum testing on several of our farms last season showed a high percentage of colostrum fed to newborn calves is below adequate concentration of antibodies (quality). Colostrum for newborns should be collected from the first milking only with a BRIX reading >22%. BRIX is linked to the refractometer – a tool that simplifies testing the quality of colostrum through the use of a drop of colostrum. Refractometers are available from your local Anexa FVC Vet clinic and include easy-to-follow instructions. Alternatively ask your Anexa Vet to explain – the process is very simple.
Remember the 3 colostrum Q’s: Quality, Quantity, Quickly. Get this right and you’ve aced one of the most important parts of calf rearing.
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