Dairy Calf Nutrition: A Superhero in the Fight Against Crypto

Jan 10, 2020

If you raise dairy calves, it’s almost a sure bet that you have Cryptosporidium present on your farm. This pathogen can cause significant losses ranging from delayed calf growth to high levels of mortality. 

Cryptosporidium is the pathogen most commonly diagnosed in association with clinical calf scours in North America.But like a superhero fights crime, a full potential diet can help prepare your calves to battle against Crypto.

Feeding a full potential diet of at least 2.5 pounds of milk solids in 8-12 quarts of liquid per calf daily, along with good calf management, can help them be better equipped to fight off calf health issues.
In a studyconducted by Daryl Nydam, DVM, Ph.D., veterinary epidemiologist with Cornell University, calves fed a full potential diet were shown to gain weight, stayed hydrated and resolved calf scours more quickly than those fed a low plane of nutrition. In fact, calves fed a lower amount of nutrition ended the study weighing less than their birth weight. 

Nydam was impressed by the performance of the calves fed a full potential diet. “Despite experiencing calf scours for several days due to the challenge dose given, the more generously fed calves gained weight and eventually thrived,” he observed. “Providing more nutrients before and during periods of calf scours is the best thing you can do to help them recover.” 

Are you facing Crypto challenges in your dairy calf program? See how LAND O LAKES® Cow’s Match® calf milk replacer can help you prepare for and recover from calf health issues.

----Purina Animal Nutrition

1 D. Nydam, T. Ollivett, M. Van Amburgh, D. Bowman, J. Wakschlag, Cornell University, Interactions of health, disease and nutrition in dairy calves, June 2016 Calf Summit
2 Ollivett TL, Nydam DV, Linden TC, Bowman DD, Van Amburgh MA. Effect of nutritional plane on health and performance in dairy calves after experimental infection with Cryptosporidium parvum.  J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2012, 241(11):1514-1520

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