Because of the structure of the bovine placenta, calves are born without any antibodies (aka "immunoglobulins" or "IgG"). Instead a calf relies on drinking colostrum, which contains antibodies that the cow has transferred from her blood stream. Once ingested, these colostral antibodies still have to be absorbed across the calf's intestines into their blood stream.
Getting the correct diagnosis is an important part of herd health. This is both when investigating disease outbreaks or when monitoring herd performance. Below are just some of the diagnostic tests we have available at the Vet Group. Have a read and talk to one of our vets if you would like more information! In-house
We don't like to say that something will be a silver bullet for preventing disease, but first-milking colostrum could be considered liquid gold! Colostrum is full of antibodies and white blood cells that help newborn calves fight disease. It’s also got more fat and protein than normal milk to give calves a nutritious first feed
Colostral vaccines are an important tool for managing calf scours caused by Rotavirus, Coronavirus and E. coli. These vaccines are given to cows and heifers prior to calving and the antibodies the cows produce are concentrated into their colostrum. The calf still needs to be fed this first-milking colostrum soon after birth so that the
Bacteria are amazing little critters. They can do so much good, such as fermenting the feedstuffs in cows’ rumens to provide them with the nutrients to live, grow and produce milk. They can also do so much bad, for example E. coli and Salmonella can cause severe diarrhoea and sometimes death in calves.
At our recent CalfWise workshop, the topic of colostrum antibodies came up: what they are and why they are important. As it’s time to start planning colostral vaccinations we thought it would be worth revisiting.
With the new season’s calves starting to make an appearance we thought it would be timely to revisit the physiology of the calving process and the common reasons why interventions may be required. As with any medical emergency, the success of calving first aid is highly dependent on the prompt and effective action. There are
February 2018 Vaccines for the prevention of calf scours Over the past two years, the use of vaccines for the control of calf scours has become commonplace on many local dairy farms. They are an important and relatively inexpensive management tool which when used correctly can have significant positive impact on calf morbidity and mortality.
Calves are born with no natural protection from disease and it can take 3 to 4 weeks for them to develop their own antibodies. One of the best ways to protect your calves during this time, is to give them colostrum ─ the first milk produced by the cow or heifer after she has calved.