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The key tips for caring for the newborn calf

Calving the suckler cow and caring for the new born calf are important tasks on every spring suckler herd in the coming weeks and for the second in a two-part interview, vet Tommy Heffernan joins Catherine Egan to discuss the key tips for caring for the newborn calf.

Tommy first outlines how building the immunity of the calf is important through quality colostrum and describes the 1-2-3 rule of colostrum and how to administer it with a stomach tube if necessary.

Hygiene is also very important and use of adequate amounts of straw is a big help. Treating the calf’s navel is the first point to avoid issues of infection and Tommy discusses the types and treatments of calf scour particularly Cryptosporidium and Coccidiosis. He also explains that respiratory infections and diseases are one of the main causes of deaths in unweaned calves, highlighting the main causes and treatments. 

Finally, Tommy advises on the use of vaccinations to prevent clostridial diseases and unfortunately it is often too late when detected.  For further information please consult your local vet.

For more episodes and information covered on the Beef Edge, visit the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/thebeefedge