Home' NZ Dairy Farmer : June 2011 Contents The Dairyman JUNE 2011 79
ACOMMON problem with cows following calving is a degree
of metabolic disruption. Demands for minerals such as calci-
um and magnesium are increased dramatically along with her
demand for higher energy levels as the cow's udder is transformed
into full milk production.
Leading up to calving cows are more than often under stress from
limited feed intake due to break feeding practices, slow grass growth
and lush grass growth with no goodness in it, reliance on supple-
mentary feed and cold winter conditions.
These conditions or a combination of them along with the sudden
metabolic demands from calving often lead to milk fever (hypocal-
caemia) and or ketosis (acetonaemia). Cows in the higher risk brack-
et are often; lighter cows, older cows, cows carrying twins, large
overweight cows or Jersey cows.
The AHD metabolic range consists of four metabolic products to
cover the associated metabolic diseases which occur over the calving
Minject is the 4 in 1 to treat milk fever levels of phosphorus and
magnesium, Calject to cover calcium deficiency; Mag Sulph to raise
depleted magnesium levels and Dextron to boost low glucose levels.
All four metabolics are presented in a 500ml pillow with a draw off
tube and a 14g needle.
The AHD metabolic product range is manufactured under strict
guidelines and is of high quality and low endotoxin levels.
To find out more about the AHD range, look for the new colour
coded packaging and reusable plastic outer tubes at your local farm
-- Copy supplied
Metabolic solutions critical for herd health
CALVES are your future herd and
income, so why wouldn't you put max-
imum effort into rearing healthy, happy
calves? When the stress of calving comes
upon a farming family, it is wise to be pre-
pared for any eventuality.
-It's best practice to ensure calves are shel-
tered for at least three weeks. -Exposure to
wind and rain can kill young calves, and it is
a significant cause of poor performance. It
also means feeding requirements increase
significantly -- which is a cost to you.
• An ideal shed will be twice as deep as it
is wide. It should be dry and draught-free.
• Consideration should also be given to
which way the opening of the calf-shed faces
-- ideally this should be north facing and def-
initely not south facing.
• Don't pack calves in too tightly -- no
more than 20 calves per pen, with a mini-
mum of 1.5 square metres per calf, and no
more than 100 calves per shed.
• Make sure the shed does not contain any
treated timber or old lead paint, as calves are
prone to sucking on the woodwork.
• Good hygiene is vital for keeping calves
healthy. You need to be diligent about ensur-
ing their environment is clean.
• Before and after calves are transported,
spray their cords with iodine.
• Before calves enter the shed, sterilise the
shed, bedding and any equipment with a
virucidal disinfectant. Once calves are in,
disinfect twice a week.
• The bedding, which can be straw, shav-
ings or bark, must be clean and dry, and not
dusty. Make sure there are no treated timber
shavings in their bedding that they might eat.
It's recommended that the bedding be at least
300mm deep, so keep adding to it if the lev-
• Keep the shed completely free of rodents
or birds -- they can spread disease.
• The Animal Welfare (Dairy Cattle) Code
of Welfare 2010 states :'To ensure their wel-
fare, newborn calves must receive sufficient
colostrum or a good quality commercial
colostrum substitute (Minimum Standard
No. 2: Feeding Newborn Calves).
• It is vital that newborn calves receive
high quality colostrum within the first few
hours of life. Calves that do not receive
enough colostrum are much less likely to
reach their potential. They will also have sig-
nificantly less resistance to disease -- a 40 per
cent increase in death rates can occur if
calves do not receive adequate colostrum.
• Calves need colostrum equivalent to 10-
15 per cent if their body weight within the
first six hours of life, and again within the
• Undiluted colostrum from the first two
milkings will provide the highest levels of
nutrition and immunity through protective
Scours can happen to good farmers using
best practice methods -- over 80 per cent of
New Zealand calf-rearing operations have
experienced infectious scours at some time.
There are two kinds of scours - nutritional
scours and infectious scours.
Nutritional scours can be caused by fac-
tors including feeding cold milk, changes in
diet, and environmental stresses.
Infectious scours is the biggest threat to
calves -- it spreads very fast, especially in the
more intensive rearing environments, and is
often fatal. The main cause of infectious
scours is rotavirus; other causes include
Cryptosporidium , E. coli and coronavirus.
Calves with scours need to be treated
immediately with water and electrolytes --
your vet can advise you on the appropriate
One of the best ways to minimise the risks
of your calves being hit by infectious scours
is to vaccinate.
-- Courtesy of Intervet Schering-Plough
Animal Health and Dairy Women's Network.
Investing in your calves
FlexiTunnel Calf Rearing Concept
Visit us at FlexiTunnel.co.nz or on Site F12 at the Mystery Creek Fieldays
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