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Stackyard News Apr 07
       

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    New Initiative to Help Dairy Farmers Beat Calf Scours
17/04/07

Dairy farmers now have an opportunity to develop a better practical understanding of their cows’ colostrum quality and its ability to improve calf health, thanks to an innovative initiative from Schering-Plough.

Dairy farmers can now measure the ‘scour beating’ power of their cows’ colostrum by asking their vet for a colostrometer test.

colostrometer

Farmers are being encouraged to take a 250ml colostrum sample to their vet for a free qualitative assessment of its ‘scour-beating’ power. Practices participating in the scheme will test the antibody content of first or second milking colostrum using a device called a colostrometer.

”Colostrometers are simple to use and give you an instant, visual feedback on whether the colostrum being fed to newborn calves is packed with the antibodies required to help them ward off scours,” explains Paul Williams MRCVS, livestock veterinary adviser with Schering-Plough. “Farmers can then discuss with their vet whether a Rotavec-Corona cow vaccination regime to boost colostrum quality is worth considering.”

Paul Williams points out that when a calf is born it possesses no natural antibodies to fight disease. But by drinking good quality colostrum – ideally at least three litres within six hours of birth – it can develop the necessary protection against key infectious scours. “The problem is: how do you know if the colostrum your calves are getting is of good enough quality? – that’s where the colostrometer comes in,” he says.

Farmers wanting to take advantage of this calf health improvement initiative should contact their vet for further details.

link Leptospirosis Presence Established in 70% of UK Herds
link RABDF/Defra Farm Health Planning Award launched
link Cattle Industry urged to be vigilant in keeping Bluetongue out

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