Over 15 international experts presented their research in the area of calf nutrition and pathology at the recent fourth annual Dairy Solutions Symposium taking place at the Institut Polytechnique LaSalle Beauvais, France.
statistics show that it usually ranges between 5-8%, but the range is vast.
Costs associated with mortality before weaning could be as much as €260 per
animal”, said David Wilde, Alltech UK’s ruminant technical manager.
Welcoming delegates to the symposium, Alltech’s
Vice President for Europe, Marc Larousse, Philippe Choquet, director of the
Institut Polytechnique LaSalle Beauvais and Prof. Bernard-Marie Paragon of the
École nationale vétérinaire d’Alfort agreed that the event provided an excellent
opportunity for academics, researchers and practitioners from all over the world
to meet and exchange ideas and information about current on-farm
The panel of speakers, representing all professions in the dairy
field, examined topical issues such as the prevention of calf scours, acidosis,
respiratory diseases and protozoal infections as well as the impact of nutrition
on calf health.
Trace mineral status
The relationship between trace mineral status of herds and some
major health disorders was considered by Prof. Francis Enjalbert, National
Veterinary School of Toulouse. “Inadequate trace mineral nutrition of either
cows or their calves is a risk factor for poor health in calves. Of these trace
minerals, selenium plays a major role, but copper, zinc and iodine deficiencies
can also affect the calf health”, he said.
Colostrum quality was the theme of Prof. Jud Heinrich of
Pennsylvania State University, USA’s presentation. “Colostrum feeding is a
critical step in raising healthy calves as a result of the physiology and
metabolism of the bovine species. Failure of passive transfer of immunoglobulin
is a serious problem in the bovine and on-farm management of this problem must
be continuous”, he cautioned.
Dr. Yves Milleman of the École nationale
vétérinaire d’Alfort looked at Neonatal Calf
Diarrhoea (NCD). “NCD is one of the most significant diseases of neonatal
calves and results in the greatest economic loss due to disease in this age
group in both dairy and beef calves. NCD outbreak
associated costs include treatment time, possible impact on
subsequent calf growth performances and potential death,” he said.
150 delegates attended the two-day symposium.
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