Minimising the stress of weaning

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Suckled calves suffer considerable stress at weaning, leading mainly to reduced thrive and pneumonia. Most spring born calves will be weaned over the next few weeks, a point confirmed by Paul Elwood of HVS Animal Health.

“Increased stress is the key factor that will kick in around the time of, and directly after, weaning,” he said.

“A drop in temperature, leading to a fall-off in grass growth rates, will predispose weanling calves to a range of performance and health related problems.

“Housing can also create additional stress levels for freshly weaned calves.

“One way of preventing these problems is to drench calves with the combined mineral and vitamin drench, Liquid Gold Cattle. This will act to boost the young animals’ immune system.”

Extensive trials carried out in Northern Ireland with the product confirm these performance related benefits.

“Liquid Gold Cattle contains all the trace mineral and vitamins which young calves need,” explained Mr Elwood.

“Suckled calves will, in any event, have been under increasing stress in the run up to weaning. This is due to the fact that mineral imbalances in grass become more pronounced as the grazing season progresses.

“However, it is crucially important for the growth rates of these extremely valuable animals to be achieved post weaning.

“One very effective way of doing this is to drench them with 60mls per head of HVS Liquid Gold Cattle.

“Drenching also ensures that the animals get the mineral and vitamin boost they need in a timely fashion.”

Mr Elwood confirmed that a significant number of suckled calves are still sold directly after weaning.

“Many of these animals are, invariably, spending inordinate lengths of time in marts mixing with calves from different herds. This practice puts significant stress on these animals, again predisposing them to a range of animal health problems,” he explained.

“In such circumstances, drenching with Liquid Gold Cattle is highly recommended.”

For further information, contact HVS Animal Health on (028) 4483 1700.