‘Protect’ consistently prevents scour related problems in large suckler herd

One direct impact of this year’s poor grazing season and the subsequent fall-off in silage quality has been the deterioration in the quality of colostrum produced by cows. This, in turn, will reduce the newborns’ ability to fight off disease.

One way of ensuring that all newborn calves get the required immunity booster they need is to administer Provita Protect, the first and only probiotic licensed for the treatment of scours in the UK 

Recent, independent research has confirmed just how exposed newborn calves are to picking up disease. For example, on average, it will take a young calf up to three and a half hours to get its first suck. And before it even finds its mother’s teat it may well have already sucked her tail, leg and other body parts. As a result, the young calf will ingest a large number of bugs – Salmonella, E Coli etc – before it receives one drop of colostrum.

Francis Connon, owner of Ballymena-based Connon General Merchants, manages a 200-strong suckler herd. He also runs an additional group of 50 replacement heifers. The herd comprises a mix of Salers and Simmental cross cows with a mix of Angus and Charolias bulls currently used, from a breeding point of view.

“It is our intention to use heifers bred from the high end Angus bulls as future replacements,” he said.

“The vast bulk of the herd calves down in the spring with a smaller number calving down in the autumn. We have always administered Protect to the calves, as soon as they hit the ground.

“We follow the application regime to the letter over the calves’ first two days of life. And it’s an approach that has worked well from us. Problems with scour never raise their head.”

Provita’s Tommy Armstrong takes up the story:

“It is crucially important for a young calf to get colostrum as soon as possible after birth,” he explained

“However, Protect, when administered to a calf within the first 30 seconds of life, serves to fill the young animal’s gut with millions of naturally occurring, beneficial bacteria. This helps to physically exclude harmful pathogens from attaching to the gut wall.”

He continued:

“Protect works in the gut, not the stomach.  Trials have confirmed that the use of Protect will reduce calf scours by 83% and increase average calf growth rates by 31%.”