How to Boost New Born Calves’ Health

Fall calving is around the corner. You’ve got your calving kit ready. The cows are in good condition and look ready. You are anxiously waiting to see how your mating decisions from last winter will turn out. Once those calves hit the ground and start nursing, they will be all set. But, wait. Have you considered giving those calves an added boost with the help of a Vita Charge® Stress Tub?

The Vita Charge Stress Tubs contain valuable nutrients like Amaferm® and MOS to support the ability to recover from the effects of stress. Amaferm is a precision prebiotic designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying the nutrient supply within for maximum performance. Amaferm combats stress resulting in increased intake and nutrient digestion. MOS traps bad bacteria in the digestive tract limiting their ability to do harm and cause scours. The tubs also include organic trace minerals, vitamins and B vitamins for overall increased immunity.

Justin Sullivan, Lucas, Iowa, said he’s been putting the stress tubs in small club houses for his calves both for his spring and fall calving herds now for five years. His parents attended an Angus tour in Kansas and saw this on one operation and came home and told Justin about the results that Andy & Mary McCurry had, so they gave it a try.

“I’ve had very good luck with the stress tubs in my calving pens,” Sullivan said. “We had 120 calves that first spring and went through one-and-a-half stress tubs in a 60-day period. We had the healthiest calf crop we’ve ever had up to that point. We had fewer sniffles, fewer scours and more energy and appetite.”

Kevin Glaubius, Director of Nutrition for BioZyme® Inc., said that the Vita Charge Stress Tubs work well to help ward off sickness because each time the young calves lick the tubs they are getting MOS into their system, which is essentially escorting the bad bacteria out of their gut, keeping digestive disturbances at bay. Although health challenges are not as prevalent during fall calving, they still exist, and preventing them with good immunity is key.

The Amaferm in the Stress Tub helps with rumen development. In addition, the organic vitamins and trace minerals help with the overall health of the calves.

A good way to ensure the calf has the best immunity possible is to supplement the gestating cow with Concept•Aid® 5/S with MOS, starting 60 days prior to calving through breeding. According to Glaubius, this will help the calf get the best colostrum available, boosting its immunity from the very beginning. And since scours are primarily a challenge of a dirty environment, if the cows are healthier, the calves should stay healthier too.

Giving your calves a head start early is a good idea and keeping them healthy pays off later in life. Sullivan said he reintroduces the Vita Charge Stress Tubs to his weaned calves, and continues to see increased health, appetite and vigor in the older calves as well.

“A calf that gets scours will likely get sick from pneumonia. When you challenge the immune system, it challenges their susceptibility to other health challenges later in life,” Glaubius said.

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