Following are some proven natural methods of decreasing the frequency of and/or harshness of calf scours.  Begin this protocol immediately after normal calving procedures so your calves not only survive but thrive!!!

Probiotic Program: Provides 16 Billion CFU’s of Beneficial Bacteria

Day 1: Administer orally 5cc of a trusted probiotic gel or paste, such as Probios Max Oral Gel, via gel applicator gun or dial-a-dose tube.  Estimated cost $.32

Day 2: Provide another 5cc of probiotic gel or paste via gel applicator gun or dial-a-dose tube.  Estimated Cost $.32

Day 3-: Add 2.5-5 grams of probiotic to the calves milk/milk replacer each day split between feedings or given all at once. Probiotic Power is an easily mixed product with a very trusted source of bacteria along with a great vitamin and mineral package.  Estimated Cost $.06/2.5gr dose

Following the above recommendations (including feeding probiotics daily until weaning) will cost under $3 per calf (if weaning at 5 weeks).  With today’s cost of replacement animals and the fact that healthy calves create more productive/profitable adults, this protocol has the potential to save or make you a great deal of money.

Energy Supplementation
Scouring drains an animal’s energy reserves which in turn weakens the immune system, creating a negative cycle of health issues within the animal.  Adding energy supplements to their milk/milk replacer for 2-3 days during times of stress will help the animal reach its daily energy requirements.  Power Punch is a palatable energy drench containing liquid molasses, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, propylene glycol, and direct-fed microbials to maintain normal appetite and energy levels during times of scours or other sickness. One dose of Power Punch for a new born calf equals 1oz, at a cost of around $.25.

Electrolytes should be used at the first sign of scours/diarrhea and repeated twice per day until the scours lessens.  Most electrolytes should be mixed with warm water and fed in between milk feedings.  For heavy scours a gelling electrolyte is recommended to help the animal retain more fluids and nutrients.  Revitilyte and Revitilyte-Gelling are two good electrolyte options, as they contain veterinarian recommended levels of calcium, phosphorus, salt, sodium, potassium and Glycine, which helps in nutrient absorption.

If your scour problems do not improve, you should consult your veterinarian.  When experiencing wide spread scours and diarrhea, you should have manure samples taken and lab tested to isolate the cause.  Another option for diagnosing the problem includes doing a postmortem exam of a deceased calf; check with your local veterinarian to find the best method.  Knowing what is making them sick will improve your odds of success.