Nutritional strategies to recover diarrheic calves
For Canadian dairy farmers, calf care is essential in ensuring the long-term success of your operation.
To do this, you'll have to tackle the leading cause of calf mortality in the dairy industry: calf diarrhea and it's associated complications.
Let's take a look at the 7 big take-home messages from our research we just published in Progressive Dairyman Canada:
- Oral electrolyte solutions (OES) do not prevent diarrhea and represent a curative measure.
- All OES are not equally effective at mitigating dehydration and metabolic acidosis.
- Use low-osmolality OES (250 to 350 mOsm per kilogram) with adequate amounts of alkalinizing agents (60 to 80 mmol per litre) to limit risks of osmotic diarrhea and effectively correct blood pH.
- Always strictly follow manufacturers’ specifications regarding OES concentrations in water.
- Energy intake primarily relies on whole milk or milk replacer.
- Mixing OES into milk and especially milk replacer represents a dangerous practice.
- Water should always be available ad libitum for all animals at all ages.