The health and nutrition of the dairy replacement calves in the first 60 days of life have a very significant impact on their future milk production and longevity.

A good start is half the work

Energy intake and colostrum management are two of the key priorities in the first 60 days to influence future performance. Recent studies have indicated that additional average daily live weight gain (DLWG) during the first 60 days of life will result in additional milk yield in the first lactation.

  • For every additional 100g of DLWG during the first 60 days of life, about 225kg of additional milk yield in the first lactation can be expected
  • Pre-weaning DLWG accounted for 22% of the variation in first-lactation milk yield
  • Growth during the first 60 days of life is also linked to survival to second lactation. Research has shown that heifers that reach second lactation grew more (800g/d) between 12 and 65 days than those that did not (700g/d).

    To maximise the lifetime productivity of the dairy herd, it is essential to protect the young dairy calf from common diseases so as to ensure maximum daily live weight gain.

    Animals that perform best in the first 60 days of life;

    1. Survive longer in the herd

    2. Produce more milk

    3. Deliver more profit

    Scour and Pneumonia

    Scour and pneumonia are the two most common ailments that affect Irish calves every spring. In calves less than a month old, scour is the biggest killer. The key to scour prevention is the 1-2-3 rule of Colostrum management, combined with hygiene in the calving area and calf pens.

    Pneumonia is the most common disease in the Irish cattle population in terms of morbidity and mortality and was the most frequent cause of death in calves aged 1-5 months of age (32%) in DAFM labs in 2015.

    Pneumonia and The First 60 days

    A single case of pneumonia in a calf in her first 60 days of life, which is successfully treated will;

  • Reduce her 1st lactation yield by 4%
  • Reduce her 2nd lactation yield by 8%
  • As the number of pneumonia cases a heifer experiences increases, her productive life diminishes: Heifers suffering more than 4 cases have an average of 100 days less productive life compared with heifers that do not experience pneumonia.

    Don’t wait, Vaccinate

    Zoetis Rispoval Native ContentRispoval RS & Pi3 delivers the fastest and earliest protection available against RSV and Pi3, two of the most common causes of virus pneumonia in Irish calves. A single dose vaccine, administered intranasally from 9 days of age, provides RSV protection within 5 days.

    Compared with injectable vaccines, which require 2 doses and offer minimal protection within the First 60 Days, the use of Rispoval RS+Pi3 Intranasal in young calves should be part of every pneumonia prevention plan this spring. Convenient and reliable, Rispoval RS+Pi3 Intranasal provides the protection when and where it is needed.