Improving calf health using an integrated management protocol ensures a reduction of antibiotic use on farm and an increase in milk production in the long term.

In collaboration with MSD Animal Health

Why does it matter?

Employing good calves management practices on farm is crucial to ensure a healthy and productive herd in the long term. The objective of this project was to improve the overall management of young stock on farm, preventing the onset of diseases and reducing use of antibiotics.  

How did we solve this?

We introduced an integrated protocol on calf management focusing on calves feeding, housing and health care.

After one year of adopting this practice, we reduced the incidence of diarrhea in calves as well as bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in heifers to 0%. We were also able to significantly lower the antibiotic treatments in heifers. As a result of this integrated approach, the average daily weight gain in calves improved, leading to an increase in milk production during the first lactation.

Opportunities for other farms?

Ensuring calf health is a global challenge in the dairy sector. This best practice can be replicated on all dairy farms raising calves.

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