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Convert; Value to Feeding Calves

By: Dan Hoying

Calves are a dairy’s future source of income and are the result of investing in 
genetics. Proper investments of time and effort to calf raising will pay off for 
future success. Newborn calves are born with no functional immune system and it 
is essential to give quality colostrum within the first few hours of birth to 
protect the calf from foreign substances and diseases. In many cases, consumption 
of colostrum is insufficient to meet the needs of the calf. The colostrum quality 
may be poor due to an improperly balanced nutritional program or inadequate 
vaccination protocols for the cow during pregnancy or after dry-off. Failure of 
passive transfer occurs in a high percentage of calves born in  the U.S.

A second “lag” occurs at 1 to 5 weeks old when the protection afforded by the 
passive immunity declines and before the calf’s active immune system has built 
up. This results in pre-weaning sickness of 50 percent or more and average calf 
death losses of 5 to 8 percent. Antibodies and probiotics are ways to ensure a 
healthy population of gut microbes to combat disease during this time. Sick 
calves cost money; some you pay up front for treatment, the rest you pay in poor 
lifetime performance. Having probiotics and antibodies in your calf’s diet will 
help it get through stressful times faster, with less effort and reduces the risk 
of lingering effects. Convert has proprietary L-form bacteria technology and Avian 
antibodies in every dose.

One tool that has gained interest of late is the feeding of dried egg products 
(Avian antibodies) produced from chickens that have been immunized for specific
antigens. Feeding of eggs to calves in an effort to stimulate their health and 
development has occurred for years. Back when farms included at least a few of 
every animal and poultry species, the hens roaming the barnyard were exposed to 
every pathogen on the farm. While they would seldom show symptoms, these birds 
would produce antibodies against these pathogens. Chickens only have one 
opportunity to pass critical antibodies on to their chicks and must do so through 
the egg. Farmers would mix eggs or egg yolks in with milk or milk replacer to 
feed to young calves needing a “boost.”

Today, this practice has become much more technologically advanced. Flocks of 
chickens are immunized with specific antigens in order to stimulate the hens 
to produce specific antibodies (IgY) against the pathogens that may normally 
cause intestinal tissue inflammation and diarrhea in the young calf. During the 
process, the manufacturer also employs repeated quality control and assurance 
processes to ensure purity and the measurement of target antibody levels. This 
dried egg powder is a highly concentrated source of the antibodies.

Research done at Oklahoma St shows giving calves Convert reduces effects from 
disease and makes treatment more effective with less retreating calves required.

Convert has four specific ingredients that fuel its mode of action. The first 
are the specialized proteins derived via the avian production technology 
discussed above. Secondly, Convert contains 4 strains of freeze-dried beneficial 

    1. Enterococcus faecium
    2. Lactobacillus acidophilus
    3. Bifidobacterium longum
    4. Bifidobacterium thermophilum
                    - Bifidobacterium sp. are isolated in the guts of healthy calves.

Additionally, Convert contains two strains of L-form Lactobacillus. Given the fact 
that shelf-life is critical, the L-forms are the most stable form of Lactobacillus 
commercially available. Lastly, Convert contains microbial sugars which feed 
the good bugs developing in the GI tract. As you can see, Convert is a very well 
rounded product that offers many components to keep the newborn calf healthy and 
ensure you are protecting your genetic investment.


Take advantage of our current promotion. Buy 5, Get 1 Free. 
January 1 - February 28, 2018. Ask your local Select Sires representative for details.

Convert Gel Promo