Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Link Between Disinfecting Navels and Mortality

Over a decades long period of time I have been advocating disinfecting navels on newborn calves. In the Calf Facts library at our www.atticacows.com website I have three posts about navel dipping - one of them is Dipping Navels: Dollars and Sense [click HERE to go there].

A newly published study of dairies with automated milk feeding systems (26 dairies from the US Upper Midwest) collected data on mortality and disinfecting navels.

Here are the results: [average rate of mortality]

No navel disinfecting [22% of farms] = 7.3% mortality
Yes, navel disinfecting [78% of farms] = 3.0% mortality
57% of the farms reported mortality rates less than 3 % with one dairy having a 13.4% death rate.

We suspect that there are other best management practices that go along with disinfecting newborn navels that, in part, are also connected to calf mortality.

Reference: Jorgensen, M.W. and Others,"Mortality and health treatment rates of dairy calves in automated milk feeding systems in the Upper Midwest of the United States." Journal of Dairy Science 100:9186-9193 October 2017

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