Young Animal Health

SCOURS– The Problem

Treating a calf-scours case can cost from $50 to $100, depending on intravenous fluids and other types of treatment. These calves don’t do as well once they have been sick. 50% of all calf death is result of dehydration and scours. What is the value of a heifer calf?

Some operations don’t lose very many calves, but are working day and night treating sick calves. Even though they are saving them, it is costing them a lot. What is your labor worth? Biologically, something has to go wrong for a calf to scour. Calves living primarily on milk or milk replacer should have a normal stool that is yellowish in color and relatively firm. Symptoms of diarrhea are changes in color and consistency from that standard.

The two main reasons calves scour are exposure to an excessive amount of pathogens and too few defenses from their dam’s colostrum against pathogens. To prevent scours one must focus on pathogen exposure (environmental) and immune system (dam vaccination, colostrum management). Dr. Patty Scharko, DVM, University of Kentucky, reports; “Problems occur when the number of infectious agents becomes so high that it overwhelms the colostral immunity which normally protects the calves”.

Infectious Causes  Age Affected
E. Coli
1-5 Days
Clostridium Perfringens 2-10 Days
Salmonella 1-4 Weeks
Rota Virus 1-4 Weeks
Corona Virus 1-6 Weeks
BVD 2-6 Weeks
Cryptosporidia 1-6 Weeks

The Convert Line of products contains high levels of beneficial bacteria such as Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium thermophilum, and longum. It also contains contains microbial sugars which is an energy source for the “good bugs”. It contains two L-form Lactobacillus concentrates, and specialized proteins (egg-derived antibodies).

Colostrum is absolutely critical!  It is recommended that each calf receive 4 to 6 quarts quality colostrum 1 –2 hours following birth. Another rule of thumb is colostrum = 10% calves body weight. If the calf won’t drink, use a tube feeder. Feed a minimum 2 quarts colostrum again within 12 hours. Extension Beef Specialist, Dr. John Thomas Johns, University of Kentucky, points out “Calves presented with lower quality and/or less colostrum to consume will be at greater risk of inadequate disease protection. Beef Calves born to cows in adequate to good body condition had greater concentrations of IgG than calves born to thinner cows.”

Dr. Jim Quigley, explains, “When milk (colostrum) or milk replacer is fed to calves, it by-passes the rumen and reticulum by the action of the esophageal groove. The esophageal groove is active at birth.” This allows colostrum, rich in IgG, to reach the intestine as soon as possible. “Researchers at The University of Tennessee found a decline in the efficiency of IgG absorption within 1 hour of birth. Clearly, there is a compelling reason to feed calves as soon as possible after birth to maximize the acquisition of passive immunity.”

Convert ImmPower® TBC is the “Gold Standard”. A True Bovine Colostrum to offer our dairy and beef customers. The product mixes extremely well rapidly going into solution, so there are no worries about plugging nipples or tube feeders. It also contains a dose of Convert for additional environmental protection. It is available in both single dose packs and multi-dose pails.

Using the Convert Line of products has proven to be effective in dealing with challenges in young animals. The Convert ImmPower® TBC product gives calves the exceptional start needed for a lifetime of productivity.