Calf Rearing the Natural Way
Over the years there have been many calf rearing regimes promoting the best way to raise calves and avoid scours. After all, farmers have enough problems in the spring without having the extra stress of scouring calves.
Calf rearers need to follow some simple guidelines and they will be well on the way to a trouble free rearing period:
Colostrum - try to ensure that all calves receive around 8% of their bodyweight in good colostrum within the first 12 hours. Preferably 2 litres in the first 2 hours. Colostrum is rich in antibodies from the mother, these help to protect the calf against infection, and are readily absorbed through the wall of the intestine in the first 12 hour period.
Hygiene - try to ensure that as soon as possible after birth the umbilicus is sprayed with an iodine solution. This helps to prevent the calf falling victim to an infection which can easily enter the body via this route. Ensure all feeding equipment is clean, the housing area has fresh bedding material, and the area is sprayed with a virocide.
Housing - ensure your calf house is clean, draft free, and not overcrowded.
Rearing - Starve calves for 24 hours when they first enter the calf shed. If feeding milk replacer feed calves only once a day. Many wholemilk rearers also adopt this feeding regime from an early age.
Feed RENCO Vegetable Rennet to supplement the calves natural supply of the milk digestive enzymes. This assists the milk to clot more rapidly in the stomach which aids digestion and absorption.Research indicates that calves at birth have varying levels of the digestive enzymes contained in RENCO rennet. These can take time to develop.If levels are low, the milk will be very slow to form a clot in the stomach. This leaves the pH of the stomach elevated and a more suitable environment for the growth of scour producing microorganisms.
Feed natural yoghurt containing live cultures. This supplementation may aid the establishment of desirable bacterial populations which should be beneficial and inhibit the undesirable ones. Most supermarkets carry the natural yoghurt with live cultures.
RENCO Vegetable Rennet is very easy to use, simply add 2mL per calf to the milk immediately prior to feeding. Use supplementation daily for the first 3 weeks at least. Don't wait for problems to develop. Once the calf scours, damage may have already occurred to the lining of the calf's intestine which takes time to heal. Prevention is the best course of action.
Many farmers already use RENCO rennet as part of their calf feeding regime. It is also supplied to vets. Here is what some RENCO users say:
"I used rennet for the first time last season and had no scouring calves, I'm sold on it." I J Smith, Stratford.
"We have reared 120 calves a year for the last 2 years using rennet mixed into their milk prior to feeding and have had no scour problems, we wouldn't be without it." R and M Sturgeon, Gore.
"I reared 40 calves last season. I fed them once per day from 2 days old on wholemilk with 2 mLs per calf per day of rennet for 4-5 weeks and had only one that required further treatment." Judy Ross, Eltham.
RENCO Vegetable Rennet is natural and requires no withholding period. It may be used safely on bobby calves.
RENCO Vegetable Rennet is a purified enzyme extract prepared by a fermentation process. The product has been available for many decades for commercial cheesemaking.
RENCO Vegetable Rennet is available direct from the factory at the wholesale price of $36.80 including GST per litre (500 doses) delivered free anywhere in the country.