Protect – Tried, Tested and Trusted

Diarrhoea (scours) is the most common disease problem in the young unweaned calf. It is estimated that it affects in varying degrees over a third of all calves during their rearing period and is responsible for about half of all British calf deaths. Problems arise in all types of cattle husbandry systems (MDC & NADIS).

Provita’s Tommy Armstrong recently visited Philip Kelly, Dairy farmer, Co Armagh and Sam Chesney, Beef farmer, Co Down who are both committed to good farm management practices and who both use Provita Protect as part of their normal routine for the prevention of scours.

It would take only the briefest of stop-overs for any visitor to conclude that Philip Kelly, from Markethill in Co Armagh, rears his calves well. The bespoke calving house on the farm features well designed single and group pens while the air quality in the house is excellent. One is also struck by the large amounts of clean dry straw used on the farm, guaranteeing the calves a comfortable and hygienic bed.

Philip milks 75 Ayrshire cows, which he has been breeding up to full pedigree status over the last twenty years. His Brackley herd is calving the year round with a current breeding focus on improving milk quality and cow longevity.

“It is critical for calves to get the best possible start,” Philip confirmed.

“I will make sure that each newborn gets plenty of colostrum during those first critical hours of life. Thereafter every step is taken to ensure that the calf’s nutritional requirements are met in full.”

But even with taking this approach, previously Philip found that some of his calves would succumb to a scour problem within the first weeks of life.

“And, of course, once the problem emerged it would spread throughout the calf rearing shed.”

Four years ago Philip was advised to treat each newborn calf with Provita Protect as a means of helping to boost the young animals’ immune system.

“I thought it was worth a try,” he continued.

“And all I can say is that the results achieved have been very impressive. Each calf gets a full course of Protect which starts with two 2.5ml squirts as soon as possible after birth followed by a single dose on days two and three.

“Since using Protect, there has been a dramatic reduction in scours. The impact of Protect is all the more significant, given that we do not vaccinate the cows against any of those diseases that can cause scours in calves.”

Cool Brae Farm near Kircubbin in Co Down is home to the highly respected award winning livestock producer Sam Chesney. He manages a herd of Limousin suckler cows mated to British Blue and Limousin sires. This gives Sam Chesney the option of finishing animals for beef or selling them as stores and replacement suckler heifers. He has also incorporated Angus bloodlines into the herd due to the growing commercial demand for this particular type of crossbred animal.

Sam’s impressive attention to every aspect of his business – using accurate data costs and benchmarking in order to guide the development of his production system and invest in inputs – have marked Sam out as a winner. Giving every newborn calf the best possible start to life is a key priority for Sam

“The calves receive Protect as soon as it is born. Experience with the product has confirmed that it significantly reduces the incidence of scours and in the event of any calf coming down with the problem, we have found that it is much easier cured. I would heartily recommend its use to any dairy or suckler herdowner.”

Protect is an oral supplement providing high-level multi-strain probiotic bacteria to prevent diarrhoea in newborn calves. It is the only probiotic which is medicinally licensed for the prevention of calf scour. It has been clinically proven to reduce calf scour by 83%. To obtain this Veterinary Licence, it has undergone many years of rigorous testing to guarantee safety, efficacy and quality.

Provita Protect suspension supplies 10 billion unique triple strain probiotic bacteria that rapidly colonise the sterile gut of the newborn calf. These unique probiotic bacteria prevent harmful pathogens such as E Coli from attaching to the gut wall through competitive exclusion. The probiotic bacteria also produce lactic acid therefore lowering the pH in the gut further inhibiting harmful pathogens. The combination of more bacteria and lower pH also improves digestion as demonstrated by a 31% increase in growth rates in clinical trials.

Protect should be given to new born calves at birth; bought-in calves; after digestive upsets or after antibiotic therapy.