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A Walk In The Park?

By: Greg Muchmore, Agrarian Solutions - Regional Sales Representative

The first 21 days of a calf’s life is no walk in the park.  We all know it’s very important to get high quality colostrum and/or a colostrum replacer/booster like Immpower TBC in them as soon as possible.  However, did you know that at best, that calf can only absorb ½ of the IGGs (Immunoglobulins) that can be provided?  The following graph shows that at birth, the calf can absorb 50% of the immunoglobulins, at 4 hours old, 30% can be absorbed, at 12 hours, only 10% and at 24 hours old, you might as well forget it.  

Would you only pack ½ a lunch box for kids going to school?  That’s what it’s like for a newborn calf – it’s mother nature – it is what it is and we have to manage around it.

The next graph shows 2 ways of measuring the level of immunity in a calf over the first 6 weeks.  The red line is blood protein, the blue line is Gamma Globulin.  Both show that from birth to about 3 weeks of age, the calf loses immunity – that is because the calf’s body is not yet prepared to produce antibodies against the pathogens it faces on a daily basis like salmonella, ecoli, rota and corona virus – so what can we do?  

Is there anything that can be done?  One way is to treat with antibiotics and electrolytes when disease strikes, the other way is to provide egg-derived antibodies for those pathogens to protect the calf until it can protect itself at 3 weeks of age.  This is done by dosing the calf daily with Convert Ranch Pack at ½ scoop per day for the first 21 days of life.  There may be times when the calf is exposed to high amounts of pathogens from birds, rodents, environment and that’s when you should give a super dose of antibodies with Convert Gel or Convert Boluses – but remember, those antibodies are only effective while they reside in the gut of the calf.  Convert Gel and Convert Calf boluses will show results in 12 hours with a calf scour problem caused by e-coli, salmonella, rota and corona viruses – it is a good idea to have some on hand just in case – see your local Select Sires representative to get some and be sure to check out the buy 5 get 1 free deal we have running now through February!