Scour and pneumonia are the two most common calf diseases. There are also a number of other pathogens and parasites (internal and external) that can pose problems for calves during rearing and during their first season at grass.
Prevention of disease in calves should be a priority in all calf rearing enterprises. This involves measures to limit the exposure of the calf to infectious organisms while also reducing its susceptibility to infection.
Section 6 of the Teagasc Calf Rearing Manual Calf Health provides information on:
- Chapter 18 Calf diagnosis and Disease Prevention(pdf)
- Chapter 19 Diarrhoea (scour)(pdf)
- Chapter 20 Pneumonia(pdf)
- Chapter 21 Other common conditions(pdf)
Chapter 41 of the Teagasc Beef Manual Diseases of young calves(pdf) covers many of the key points in protecting calf health.
Careful monitoring of the performance of calves and beef cattle can provide guidance on their health, nutrition and other aspects of dairy beef farm management. The Teagasc Calf rearing manual Chapter 24 Monitoring the Performance of Calves(pdf) provides details of targets for rearing dairy beef calves up to 15 weeks of age.