How to keep your calves happy and healthy in times of stress

Special circumstances require special knowledge, and you want to make sure you’re prepared for any situation your calf may come across. Whether extreme temperatures, scours or other stressful situations are impacting your calf, it is important to be aware of how you can best take care of them during these times.

Stressful Situations
When temperatures drop, calves’ nutritional needs increase. To give them the extra calories needed for nutritional support, add Sav-A-Caf® K-Cal™ for Calves Energy Supplement to their milk or milk replacer. They may need extra calories in other stressful situations as well, including transport, vaccination or dehorning.

Preventing Scours
One of the most common illnesses in young, pre-weaned calves is scours. Scours can be caused by inconsistent feeding, overfeeding, or feeding poor quality milk replacer or feed. In order to avoid this kind of nutrition-related scours, make sure to follow the instructions listed on the package of the specific product you are feeding.

It’s important to measure the powder by weight with a scale instead of measuring by volume with a scoop or cup for accuracy. Try to feed milk replacer near the calf’s body temperature, between 100 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit, if not otherwise specified on the product. Because bacteria can grow very quickly on feeding equipment, you will also want to use a separate bottle or pail for each calf and wash each one after every feeding. Another way to prevent bacteria from growing is never letting mixed colostrum or milk replacer sit out for over an hour without refrigeration and thoroughly drying your equipment between feedings.

Treating Scours
If your calf develops scours, rehydrate and replenish electrolytes immediately using an energy or electrolyte supplement. This is not a replacement for your calf’s milk replacer, so be sure to offer this in addition to their normal diet.

Besides electrolyte supplements, you can also use medicated milk replacer, such as Sav-A-Caf® Scours & Pneumonia Treatment Complete, which contains the necessary approved medicines to target E. coli. Our medicated milk replacer can be used in place of your existing milk replacer product but requires a VFD from your licensed veterinarian.

Check out all of our Sav-A-Caf® health supplements to learn how they can help your calf in times of stress.

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