The number of bacteria in the calf’s immediate environment must be as low as possible.
”If a calf has had diarrhea at a few days old, it will continue to haunt the calf for the rest if its life. Its immune system weakens, its risk of pneumonia increases, and the calf becomes a weaker animal in general. If the calf avoids diarrhea, it will be one step ahead throughout its life.”
Says Per Spleth, suckler cow advisor, SEGES, when asked to point out the single most important factor which, according to him, matters the most in order to produce a strong.
Nor is he in doubt about how to avoid diarrhea in the calf barn:
”Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene. The prevalence of bacteria in the calf’s immediate environment must be as low as possible”, Per emphasizes.
Follow these guidelines to minimize the prevalence of bacteria in 3 important areas:
Avoid bacteria in the milk:
- Clean all of the milking equipment thoroughly and then disinfect
- Always place a lid on the milk can to avoid manure contamination
- Cool the milk quickly! If the milk is left at 20 °C for 3 hours, the number of bacteria increases by 500 times.
Minimize bacteria in the stall:
- Wash the stall with soap – otherwise, the disinfectant does not work properly
- Let the stall dry completely before disinfecting, as water thins the disinfectant
- Disinfect by using a weed burner if you suspect cases of coccidiosis
Make sure that the calf caretaker is not contagious
- Always use gloves when working with calves – and remember to replace them regularly
- Keep the milk taxi clean inside and out. If it is dirty and you touch the milk taxi first and then the calves, you transfer bacteria to the calves
- Be sure to always manage the healthy animals before the sick ones.