The Hearty Homestead

 

The Importance of Electrolytes for Calves

Learn all about electrolyte supplements and why and when you should give them to your calves.  

Raising calves is an enjoyable experience. But, it also requires attention to detail. Feeding an electrolyte supplement to stay ahead of health challenges should be a standard practice for bottle-fed calves.

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The Scientific & Proactive Approach to Raising Healthy Calves

The digestive tract of a newborn calf undergoes major changes as the calf develops into a functional ruminant.  At birth, the gut contains no microorganisms at all. It's not until the first few weeks of life, that the calf’s digestive tract functions as a simple monogastric system much like that of a pig, a dog or a human. Eventually it develops into a complex and dynamic microbial ecosystem as the animal grows to maturity.

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Dealing with Calf Scours

Calf Scours: Step 1

Most calf scours, or diarrhea, occur within the first 3 weeks of life, with about ¼ of all pre-weaned calves being treated. Keeping the calf hydrated with an electrolyte solution is the first and most important task. So it helps to have good idea of how much a scouring calf needs. It’s safe to assume that a calf with diarrhea and no other visible signs of dehydration is about 5% dehydrated. For a 100 pound calf, 5% dehydration means it has lost 5 pounds of water:

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