Cold, wet weather makes young calves more susceptible to viruses and bacteria that cause the severe diarrhea and dehydration associated with calf scours.
Vaccinations alone will not provide 100 percent protection from calf scours. An effective program combines sound management and balanced nutrition with a well-planned vaccination program. Remember these tips to reduce calf loss due to scour infection:
- Vaccinate pregnant cows against scours.
- Providing proper nutrition and keeping parasites in check prior to calving will minimize stress on the cows, allowing them to yield a vigorous calf crop.
- Use a clean, dry area for calving. Poor lot drainage, overcrowding or poor ventilation can increase susceptibility.
- If calving occurs inside, clean the area after each calving. Remove the cow and calf from the area as soon as possible.
- It's important that calves get colostrum within hours of birth to get optimum protection from the cow's scour prevention vaccine.