Calves: Success by way of prevention

Calves are at constant risk of inflammation throughout their development. Diarrhoea and respiratory disease can increase dramatically, especially when the risk of infection is high. This has devastating financial consequences, because sick calves cost money.

In the case of a respiratory disease or diarrhoea, treatment costs, additional rearing costs and the increased workload could quickly result in a financial burden of around €250 per animal. If a calf dies, the costs could even increase by almost 50 per cent due to the loss of the animal and the rearing costs already incurred. Therefore, exhausting all preventive measures to keep disease and calf mortality as low as possible is a worthwhile investment. After all, this is also an investment in the future, since disease in a calf can have a negative impact on milk yield down the road.

Among the available preventive measures, Dr. Eckel’s feed additive Anta®Ox FlavoSyn is a good choice. This is because Anta®Ox contains valuable plant flavonoid sources that reduce inflammatory responses in the calves’ organism. As a result, energy obtained from food is not wasted on nonspecific inflammatory responses, but is completely available for growth and specific immune responses. A new trial has proven that Anta®Ox can thus improve performance and reduce both morbidity and mortality in calves.

 

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Anta®Ox FlavoSyn: Lower morbidity, better performance

A feeding trial consisting of two groups kept under suboptimal conditions was conducted on a commercial dairy farm. Each of the two groups comprised 41 Holstein-Friesian calves. While the control group did not receive any feed additive, the calves in the treatment group received 15 g of the feed additive Anta®Ox FlavoSyn per calf per day until their 70th day of life.

The results showed that the calves fed Anta®Ox weighed 2.87 kg more than the calves in the control group on the 45th day (p < 0.05; Fig. 1). Daily gain in the calves fed Anta®Ox also improved by 55 g (p < 0.05; Fig. 2). Moreover, the calves in the Anta®Ox group were weaned an average of four days earlier than the calves in the control group.

Fig. 1 and 2: Calf weight on day 45; Daily gain until weaning

 

Although the morbidity rate was high, Anta®Ox reduced the rate of pneumonia by 14%. The rate of diarrhoea decreased by as much as 30% in the Anta®Ox group (Fig. 3). The lower morbidity rate also led to a 14% higher survival rate (Fig. 4).

Fig. 3 and 4: Calf morbidity rate; Calf survival rate

 

The results demonstrate that Anta®Ox FlavoSyn has a positive effect on calf health and performance, and increases calf survival rates even under adverse conditions. Consequently, Anta®Ox makes a major contribution towards profitable and animal-friendly calf production.

Do you have any questions about how to achieve success with Anta®Ox FlavoSyn? We’d be pleased to help you.