Colostrum management and the composition of fluid fed; the use of various additives such as prebiotics, probiotics, and proteins from hyperimmunized eggs or plasma proteins; and housing can all influence the health of newborn calves.
Which are The Common Culprits of Neonatal Calves?
It is well documented that dairy calves are extremely susceptible to enteric diseases and mortality during the first few weeks of life. The latest reports from the USDA’s National Animal Health and Monitoring System (NAHMS, 2007) report that the national mortality rate of heifer calves from 48 hour of life to weaning is approximately 7.8 to 10.8 %.
Producer perceived records indicate that scours account for 56.5 to 60.5 % of all pre-weaned deaths. Approximately ¼ of all pre-weaned calves are therapeutically treated for scours, and the major causes of death from scours are either dehydration or the pathogen gains access to the blood and causes septicemia. The high incidences of disease indicate we have much to learn about improving gastrointestinal disease resistance among pre-weaned calves. In addition, some data indicates that early life nutrition can have long-term impacts on leukocyte responses and disease resistance.
How does Neonatal Care Compound Long Term Profits?
It is well known that calves are future herd, may it be for dairy or beef market. Thus, the performance of calves is totally dependent on the nutritional and managemental practices during first three months. It plays a key role in the economy of farms because they increase operating costs and if compromised it can adversely affect long-term productivity of the animal. The maintenance of calf health and optimizing their growth are pivotal objectives especially at early stages of life.
Newborn calves are immunologically naive at birth. They have had no chance to enhance adaptive immunity by ‘‘experience’’ because of the protective environment in the womb, which also limits the activation of phagocytes and their entry into the tissues. The ingestion of colostrum is essential for providing neonates with immunologic protection during at least the first 2 to 4 weeks of life. Colostrum is composed primarily of antibodies, cytokines, and leucocytes. Calves that ingest colostrum shortly after birth have significant concentrations of immunoglobulin in serum, whereas colostrum-deprived calves have only trace amounts of immunoglobulin during the first 3 days of life.
Use of Feed Additives in Early Calf Nutrition
The developmental immaturity of the immune system of the neonatal calf presents a predisposing factor toward increased morbidity and mortality. As nutrition of calf is crucial many feed additives are being used in calf’s diet. With the restricted use or ban of dietary antimicrobial agents the trend is towards more ‘natural’ animal production systems. Phytochemicals,
prebiotics, probiotics with rich sources of essential vitamins and minerals can inﬂuence microorganisms through an anti-microbial activity or through a favorable stimulation of the microﬂora and favors healthy growth.
Neostart, Necessary Neonatal Care
Why Neostart? It is a supplement exclusively designed for newborn calves to fulfil all essential nutrients’ need. When calves are stressed, their appetite and digestibility often decrease; meanwhile, the nutritional demand of their growing bodies increases. This leads to the loss of appetite, depressed activity, suppressed immune system, reduced growth rates and digestive disorders. This is the sensitive period for the calves where Neostart plays a key role.
What does Neostart contain? Energy in the form of digestible sugars and essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, multi-strain probiotics to seed digestive tract with beneficial microflora, prebiotics and natural colostrum. Its indications are at birth and weaning, during stress and transportation, post-antibiotic therapy, and in digestive disorders in young ones. It is available in powder and paste form for reliable and easy administration.