Scouring Calves Need Free-Choice
Sarah Morrison (W.H.Miner Agricultural Research Institute) recently reported on a study she completed while at the University of Illinois.
The key point that caught my attention was that even while scouring calves were receiving milk replacer and oral electrolytes they also drank free-choice water.
The free-water intake of these calves was recorded during the first 21 days at the research facility. Probably arriving at 3 to 5 days of age at arrival so the observation period was probably from 4 to 25 days old.
All the calves drank water. Overall, for the 21-day period it came to 12 gallons per calf. She noted that the calves with scours averaged an extra gallon of water compared to non-scouring calves.
Bottom Line? Make sure ALL the calves have water 24/7 if possible. Especially scouring calves, give them a chance to re-hydrate naturally on their own by sipping free-choice water in addition to their milk and electrolyte feedings.
Reference: Sarah Morrision "Calves with diarrhea have different intake, growth and efficiency" November Farm Report, William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute, p3.
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