by Sally Colby
Calf feeders can be among most important personnel on the dairy when it comes to recognizing calf illness. Properly trained employees who learn and pay attention to the habits of healthy calves will be able to identify early signs of illness in young animals, which can save calves’ lives and result in healthier replacements.
Dr. Jessica Pempek, assistant professor and animal welfare specialist, Ohio State University, said the most common problems in young calves are navel infections, diarrhea and respiratory disease. As cooler weather and winter approach, respiratory disease will become a leading cause of illness and death in pre-weaned dairy calves.