Regional Calf Report: Southwest Wisconsin – Brittany Stewart, Vita Plus

Posted on August 22, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Brittany Stewart, Vita Plus Dodgeville dairy specialist
Here in southwest Wisconsin, the hot summer weather finally showed up, but the cooler summer months have brought on a few challenges.

Although spring came late this year, fly control was still a high priority. Fly control is key to keeping  calves comfortable and reducing the incidence of disease. Using a combination of fly control products such as ClariFly, fly bait and insecticide ear tags helps to reduce the fly population in the environment.

Pinkeye has popped up occasionally this summer. We’ve seen producers successfully manage pinkeye by isolating the affected animals and treating individual calves under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Even though most of the summer has not been particularly hot, providing a cool and well-bedded environment for the calves has still been imperative. It has been important to provide cool, fresh water multiple times a day, ensuring that they have access to water at all times, especially to some of the younger calves, from about three days of age and up. Providing electrolytes to stressed calves will help keep them hydrated.

Since we had a long winter with decreased sunlight, we saw many calves and heifers with ringworm. Most of these cases seemed to have cleared up since the animals have been exposed to plenty of sunlight as long as they had access to pasture or an exercise lot. For the farms that have seen an increased incidence of ringworm this year, it is recommended to thoroughly clean heifer barns and disinfect the facilities using a mixture of 4 to 5 ounces of bleach per gallon of water.

In October, it will be time to remove ClariFly from feeds and focus on caring for the calves during the fall months.

Category: Animal health
Fly control
Starting Strong - Calf Care