Cattle Newsletter – January 2024

As we approach calving season, I figured it appropriate to cover the topic of proper colostrum selection and use. With all of the different products on the market, it is easy to get lost in the selection. The number one thing to remember: NOT ALL COLOSTRUM REPLACEMENTS ARE CREATED EQUAL!

As I am sure all of you know, the first 24 hours of life for a calf are EXTREMELY important. Ideally, within 30 minutes of birth in a bed of clean straw, a calf has risen to their feet, found their dam’s teat, and consumed an adequate amount of antibody rich colostrum. But what happens if the calf is slow to rise? Or the cow rejects the calf? Or there are twins? What if we do everything right and the calf still gets sick? These, and many more, are all scenarios in which it may be required that we intervene to give that calf the best chance of starting off life on the right path.

It comes as a shock to no one that the costliest disease to the beef industry as a whole is bovine respiratory disease, or pneumonia. For the cow- calf sector of the industry though, scours is the costliest. A calf that gets scours early in life is 9x more likely to get sick again and 5.5x more likely to die pre-weaning. Preventing scours, and the death loss associated with it, can greatly benefit your top line and the profitability of your business. [READ MORE]

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