A Good Addition to Herd Health Visits
We know how important it is that calves get good quality colostrum as quickly as possible. Often we check the efficacy of colostrum management by checking for failure of passive transfer when we are dealing with outbreaks of scours or respiratory disease in calves. It is a good first step to investigating calf health issues, but it is also a good idea to do ongoing monitoring even when things seem to be going well. An easy way to do this is take blood samples from calves between day 2 and 9 of life, and check total protein levels. Each of these tests only cost $6 and can be run at the clinic. Ideally, excellent total protein levels are above 6.1, and you want no more than 10% of your calves to “fail” by having levels below 5.1. This is an easy add-on when the vet is there for herd health, and provides better insight to how your colostrum management is going. This way we can identify calves that are likely to have issues and keep a closer eye on them, as well as become aware of issues before they manifest as disease outbreaks.
Talk to your herd health vet about adding total protein monitoring into your herd health routine.