Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Tried that and It Doesn't Work on My Farm
 
In response to a question about calf health a couple of weeks ago as the weather locally has been getting colder I recommended increasing the amount being fed to the preweaned calves. The response was, "I tried that and it doesn't work on my farm. When I increase the amount of milk fed to calves they all get scours."
 
I turned to the computer and printed a copy of my resource, "Feeding more milk without scours." Click HERE to access this 10-point checklist. We had a great discussion. It turned out that the farm had never sampled colostrum to check for bacteria contamination.

As you may have already guessed the colostrum culture results all came back as TNTC (too numerous to count) - the plates were overgrown with colonies to the point that there was not way to count them. That gave us a solid starting point to improve profitability for the calf enterprise.

Moral of the story? If a dairy has the experience of calves scouring as more milk is fed in the fall it is very likely that at least one of the ten points on the checklist is far away from the desired threshold.
 
 

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