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Buying in weaner calves

Many farmers and lifestyle block owners buy in weaner calves from sale yards and the like. Unfortunately, most do not know the background or what the calves have been treated with, often they only have a knowledge of the size and weight.

Most calf deaths occur within the first few months after they have been purchased and became a financial loss to the purchaser. These losses can be eliminated by ensuring these weaners are protected from their most common causes by as soon as you receive them following the following few remedies.

Vaccination is a sure way to protect calves from clostridial infections such as blackleg, tetanus, and pulpy kidney. Calves require two vaccinations a month apart. These diseases are nearly always fatal, but the vaccine is very effective.

Young ruminants are very prone to large infestations of internal parasites (worms) and the only way to help them develop resistance to them is by drenching regularly. They should be drenched on arriving on your block to reduce the level of eggs in the pasture.

Coccidia or coccidiosis is a common condition experienced by calf rearers, as often the calves have been fed a meal that contained a coccidiostat just prior to your purchase and you assume they are able to survive on pasture alone. A common practice is to use a worm drench that contains a coccidostat like Turbo Initial.

Multimin® injectable is well worthwhile to ensure that the animals don’t have any trace element deficiency. It will make sure that your new calves get the best start in life.

From a financial point of view, it is much better to prevent any of these diseases mentioned than to have to deal with the consequences of not doing it.