Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘calf scour’

Provita products help reduce scour in newborn calves

In spring 2017 Cavan Johnson who is a dairy farmer in Co Down struggled to control calf scour.  His veterinarian at Downe Veterinary Clinic contacted Provita to help investigate this case.

Provita recommended that Cavan only used fresh or instantly refrigerated colostrum and give every calf Provita Protect, the only medicinally licensed probiotic for the prevention of calf scour and Provita Calf Colostrum powder 300g.  He began this protocol towards the end of calving with good results visible so he continued for this calving season to help suppress the build-up of pathogens. Cavan will give all calves Protect and Provita Calf Colostrum first, the cow’s own colostrum is given in the second feed, and this is especially convenient at night when around 50% of his cows calve. Provita products and protocols help to protect calves during this high-risk period, giving more protection, which enables it to overcome this risk period and develop a stronger active immunity. Read more

Provita Protect and Calf Colostrum prevents calf scour

In spring 2017 Cavan Johnson who is a dairy farmer in Co Down struggled to control calf scour.  His veterinarian at Downe Veterinary Clinic contacted Provita to help investigate this case.

Provita visited the farm and assessed all aspects of current calf health management finding that hygiene was good, cows were vaccinated and calves were getting plenty of colostrum soon after birth.  Colostrum quality was assessed and found to be variable but acceptable in most cases.  Provita’s Tommy Armstrong therefore concluded that the colostrum hygiene should be tested.  Results showed that the colostrum itself was too high in bacteria and it represented a hygiene risk to the calves. At best, the colostrum antibodies were being used up fighting the bacteria it was introducing itself!  Indeed a recent survey in Northern Ireland by AFBI reported that some colostrum contained up to 17,000,000 cfu/ml of bacteria.  Provita in-house testing shows that both leaving colostrum at ambient temperature and thawing it out after freezing stimulates bacterial growth. Read more

Provita Protect: Tried and Trusted

Recent on-farm tests for clients referred to Provita by veterinarians in Northern Ireland have discovered very high levels of harmful bacteria in colostrum that has been frozen and then thawed in warm water. Only colostrum that was kept in hygienic conditions or pasteurised and then either fed straightaway or, refrigerated and then fed had microbial loads that would be considered hygienic enough to feed to newborn animals. The management of natural colostrum needs to be improved on these farms to gain the full benefit of colostrum and any vaccinations used. Indeed, the levels of bacteria seen in the colostrum on these farms would be a health risk. Read more

Archie’s Limousins looking forward to another good year in 2017

These are exciting times for the Mc Kenna family, owners of the Archie’s Limousin herd. Fast increasing sale prices in tandem with a recognised commitment to artificial insemination and embryo technology is ensuring the Bellaghy-based operation is starting to catch the eye of both pedigree and commercial cattle breeders within Northern Ireland and beyond. Read more

Don’t forget to use ‘Protect’ on bought-in dropped calves

George Shaw farms on the outskirts of Castlewellan in Co Down. The business is home to a small herd of spring calving suckler cows plus a number of bought in cattle.

“There will be around 75 head on the farm at any one time,” he said.

“It is policy to buy-in 30 Continental-cross dropped calves during the autumn period. These are then kept on through to their second year. The most recent acquisition in this regard is a group of choice Belgian Blue calves. We are delighted with the progress they are making. They are doing well. But obviously, they cost a lot of money and every step must be taken to ensure that they continue to thrive.”

He added:

“It is critical for calves to get the best possible start.”

“I will make sure that each calf born to our own suckler cows gets plenty of colostrum during those first critical hours of life. Thereafter, every step is taken to ensure that the calf’s nutritional requirements are met in full. And this includes administering Provita Protect. Read more

‘Protect’ consistently prevents scour related problems in large suckler herd

One direct impact of this year’s poor grazing season and the subsequent fall-off in silage quality has been the deterioration in the quality of colostrum produced by cows. This, in turn, will reduce the newborns’ ability to fight off disease.

One way of ensuring that all newborn calves get the required immunity booster they need is to administer Provita Protect, the first and only probiotic licensed for the treatment of scours in the UK  Read more

Provita Protect at the heart of successful calf rearing business

Father and son team Peter and Ciaran Kerr run a successful calf rearing business on the family’s Lurgan farm. The enterprise is focussed on the sourcing of top quality cross bred calves directly from dairy farmers, with whom they have built up a close working relationship. The animals are then sold-on in batches to customers, many of whom are repeat clients. Read more

Bridging the immunity gap in young calves

Diarrhoea (scours) is the most common disease problem in the young unweaned calf. It is estimated that it affects, in varying degrees, over a third of all calves during their rearing period and is responsible for roughly half of all calf deaths (MDC & NADIS).

Calves are born with no protection against scour causing microorganisms. They must therefore receive initial protection via colostrum from their mother, known as passive immunity. After this they must develop their own active immunity.

Many things can negatively affect this process, some of which cannot be controlled. In approximately a quarter of all scours the pathogen cannot be identified and could be resistant. This can result in vaccinations and antibiotics being less effective.

However other things are within the control of the farmer such as hygiene and colostrum intake. Bedding for newborn calves should be dry; kneeling down on the bedding without feeling dampness is a good test for this. Adequate, good quality colostrum is essential for calves to get off to a good start. They should receive at least 2 litres as soon as possible after birth. Additionally colostrum should be tested to ensure it is good quality.

Protection for the newborn calf can be increased by using Provita Protect, an effective proven oral probiotic to control calf scour by 83%. It can also be used to bridge the immunity gap. This gap in the immune system occurs when the passive immunity from colostrum has decreased, and the active immunity from the calf itself has not increased quickly enough, see diagram. Most veterinarians recommend that quality vaccinated colostrum is fed to calves for the first two weeks, however on most dairy farms this does not happen.

Provita also supply probiotics in capsule and paste form which also contain colostrum, egg powder and vitamins. These extra nutrients are useful after birth, from day 1 to day 10 to improve gut condition, digestion and growth rates. Depending on the farmers preferred method of administration, we have a product to meet their needs. For more information FREEPHONE 0800 328 4982 or email

Bridging the immunity gap in young calves

Diarrhoea (scours) is the most common disease problem in the young unweaned calf. It is estimated that it affects in varying degrees over a third of all calves during their rearing period and is responsible for about half of all British calf deaths. Problems arise in all types of cattle husbandry systems. (MDC & NADIS) Read more

Calf Scour Prevented

Stephen Glenn milks 200 cows with his brother Philip and father Leslie near Carryduff in Co Down. Calving takes the place the year around, apart from the months of June and July. Up to three years ago the family would have had trouble with young calves and, in particular, an issue with scours when they were put on to powdered milk, after having received colostrum.

“We were advised to dose the calves with the probiotic product Provita Protect, Stephen explained. Read more