Monday, November 26, 2018

What are the Chances of the Dairy 
Not having any calves with Cryptosporidia
or Giardia?

In 2014 the National Animal Health Monitoring System completed a calf study involving 104 dairy operations in 13 states. This was an 18-month longitudinal study involving 2,545 heifer calves. Holstein calves made up 89% of the population. By herd size, the study included:
  • Small (30-99cows)            20%
  • Medium (100-499 cows)   32%
  • Large (500+ cows)            48%
Fecal samples were collected from 2,323 calves at a mean of 21.9 days of age.

"Almost all operations had at least 1 calf positive for CryptosporidIium (94.2%) or Giardia (99.0%) and 84.6% of operations had calves that tested positive for both Cryptosporidium and Giardia

Overall, 43% of calves tested were positive for Cryptosporium and 30.4% were positive for Giardia.

What are the chances of my dairy not having any calves shedding Cryptosporidium or Giardia? Just about zero!

Best management practices to reduce the spread of these parasites focus on cleanliness. Clean calving facilities, clean place to call home, clean colostrum, clean milk.

Background info on these two parasites may be found at:
Crypto - click HERE
Giardia - click HERE

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