Provita Protect – bringing scour control on new levels on Co Armagh farm

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.”

Provita’s Tommy Armstrong was a recent visitor to the Kelly farm

“Protect is an oral supplement providing high-level multi-strain probiotic bacteria to prevent diarrhoea in newborn calves,” he explained.

“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.”

Philip Kelly concluded:

“The use of Protect is now a vital part of calf rearing on this farm. Each calf gets Protect, I wouldn’t be without it. Last year none of my calves took scour.”