Allow your calves to start drinking as soon as possible
Under normal circumstances, calves can maintain a proper hydration status simply by drinking. If changes in cellular volume and concentration of osmolytes occur, they cause thirst and drive the animal to drink. If an animal cannot, or does not drink, the normal pathway to hydrate is obstructed and different control systems will be set in motion to prioritize important body functions. This has an effect on other body systems. These effects result in signs that allow for recognition of a dehydrated calf: poor skin turgor, sunken eyes and a dry muzzle.
In cases where dehydration in calves is not due to disease, making good quality water available will correct the hydration status. In those cases it is important to make sure animals start drinking as soon as possible.
In case of dehydration caused by disease, stabilize the water and electrolyte balance
When calves are dehydrated as a result of calf diarrhoea, there is an urgent need to stabilize the water and electrolyte balance. In a response to deal with the dehydration a lot of sodium is lost. Next to that, calf diarrhoea results in metabolic acidosis. Therefore, it is important to make sure animals drink water that contains the right amounts of sodium and buffering agents.
There is an important difference between calves and adult animals in body fluid balance
The differentiation of aforementioned types of dehydration becomes even more important when you consider the difference between calves and older animals. When the calf matures, the ratio of water stored as extracellular fluid (blood, interstitial fluids) and intracellular water (all fluids inside cells) changes. Calves have a much larger extra-cellular fluid pool.
Extracellular fluids are being less protected are lost much quicker compared to intracellular fluids. To replenish the extracellular fluid pool, water and sodium are needed – preferably a combination of both. For the intracellular fluid pool, rehydration requires mainly potassium, not sodium. Depending on the cause of dehydration, it is either the extra-cellular or the intra-cellular fluid pool in which water is lost. Therefore specific causes of dehydration result in a need for specific electrolytes.
Adding to that: adult cows also have a large reservoir of water in the form of their rumen, whereas calves do not. In other words, a young calf suffering from calf scours requires a more rapid intervention, compared to an older animal dehydrted as a result of transport. If we understand these differences, we can support any dehydrated animal much better!
Review your farm performance
Working on, or managing a dairy farm is a challenging task; day-to-day routines demand most of your time. Are your operating procedures well set? Do you get the most out of your work? Tough questions if you don't have any reference at hand.
That is why we are now offering you a simple tool which gives you feedback based on results from fellow farmers around the world. It can help you find opportunities for even better results.
Science-based solutions for optimum dairy performance
In case of low quality or quantity colostrum on farm, an alternative to natural colostrum can be provided with Sprayfo Colostrum: a feed material perfectly suitable to be provided as a colostrum replacer or supplement for calves.
Sprayfo OsmoFit is a dietetic complementary feed for calves, developed to stabilize the water and electrolyte balance to support physiological digestion in case of diarrhoea. This patent pending formula allows for effective recovery and correction of metabolic acidosis.
Sprayfo HydraFit is a complementary feed for ruminants that provides the needed salts and sugars in the right amounts and in the correct ratio. HydraFit uses a method with a pending patent that allows for fast intake of water and supply of electrolytes and maintain hydration status.
Sprayfo Delta has been developed with whole milk as the biological reference, mixing the best of whole milk with the best of calf milk replacers (CMRs). Inspired by saleable milk, Sprayfo Delta is high in fat, ensuring calves gets a high level of energy. Combined with a perfect balance of vitamins and minerals calves will get the best possible start in life.
With its superior quality and a milk powder content of 50% Sprayfo Royal is a front-rank LifeStart endorsed calf milk replacer in the market. Sprayfo Royal contributes to problem-free calf rearing: calves will drink it enthusiastically, show optimal health and grow maximally.
Sprayfo Excellent is a LifeStart endorsed high-quality calf milk replacer for dairy farmers who place the highest demands on their calf rearing. With Sprayfo Excellent you can elevate concentrations to a high level: up to 150 grams per litre of milk.
Sprayfo Vitesse is a LifeStart endorsed calf milk replacer for dairy farmers who place the highest demands on their calf rearing. Sprayfo Vitesse is easily digestible and very suitable to elevate concentrations up to 150 grams per litre of milk.
A LifeStart endorsed calf milk replacer for dairy farmers who opt for a familiar and trusted formula. Your step into the professional league of calf rearing.
Sprayfo Blue provides a well-balanced blend for proper calf rearing. Sprayfo Blue is based on unique spray-dried whey-fat kernels. Following the Sprayfo feeding and mixing advice your calves will develop well in the first few months.
Sprayfo Red is a calf milk replacer for economical and secure calf rearing. Sprayfo Red is very easily dissolved due to the unique spray-drying production process. It can be fed as from day 10 after birth.
Coming soon! Sprayfo e-Vito is the first energised calf starter feed that is being develop by Trouw Nutrition. Two trials in Holstein dairy calves have been carried out to date. In the first trial, carried out by IRTA in Spain, it was established that mixing in 10% energised calf starter pellet into the normal calf starter gives optimal results.
Sprayfo Avanta Calf Starter is based on research and experience resulting in a balanced formulation and when combined with Sprayfo calf milk replacers, Sprayfo Avanta is the basis for the best rumen development for calves in the first months: facilitating trouble free weaning and the best growth up to an age of 4 months.