Through October to mid-November 2007, we had one of the worst spells in trying to rear calves for a long time. The calves, when born looked fine, they were all given colostrum within 4 to 5 hours of birth. They had calf pellets, straw and freshwater from 4 or 5 days of age. Some calves took their colostrum milk reasonably well, others were not so keen. It was the same after about five feeds of colostrum they stayed on cow’s milk since then to what should have been 6 or 7 weeks to weaning, but the calves were not getting past 4 to 5 weeks they died. A day before the calves went down the flesh fell off them from one end of the day to the other, this was both heifer and bull calves off our two stock bulls. We tried everything we could with them, it was like fighting a losing battle, we could hardly keep a
calf alive, as well as dreading the next calf feeding time, to see another one sick or dead. It was a massive financial loss and replacements of the stock decreasing.
On 22nd December after discussions with the Natural Stockcare agent about the ongoing problem we bought At Birth tubes to application each calf within 12 hours of birth. Grow A Drop Plus application at 10ml per calf with Copper Cobalt at 3ml per application, these two applications added to the milk once a week for 3 weeks.
It is now the start of May 2008 and since starting to work with this routine our calves are easier started, easier fed, growing, thriving, eating better and their coats are shiny. Shortly when the weather improves some of these calves will go to grass, they will receive another application of Grow A Drop Plus and Copper Cobalt at the rates of 5ml and 2ml per 50kgs.
We are well pleased with our routine now it is more pleasure to feed calves that look for a feed and look well from day one onward.