Raising a healthy calf

When a calf is born, we hope they have a long, productive life ahead of them as future members of the herd.

We know that productive cows begin life as healthy calves, and therefore the job of calf-rearing is incredibly important.

When a calf is born, its gastrointestinal system is in an immature state, only capable of digesting milk.

Establishing a healthy bacterial population in this early stage of life is vital to gut and rumen development. A well-functioning rumen optimised to digest solid food is key to successful weaning.

The calf is often exposed to harmful pathogenic bacteria in the environment, which can lead to outbreaks of disease such as diarrhoea.

This, in combination with stressors (for example, adapting to a calf shed, tagging, dehorning) and having a developing immune system, can lead to significant health costs.

The importance of the microbiome

It is the microbes in the rumen that actually digest feed.

In the young calf, this digestion process both stimulates the rumen and gut development while providing energy for the calf to grow.

The more efficient microbial digestion is, the bigger the gains in liveweight and the better equipped the calf is to cope with weaning, as well as meeting future critical weight targets.

How can MYLO help calves?

MYLO is an Australian-made, liquid probiotic containing three strains of Lactobacillus bacteria (L. casei, L. buchneri and L. paracasei), which have been shown to be beneficial to calf health and productivity.

MYLO is antibiotic-free, certified organic and has no withholding periods.

Research has shown that calves receiving a daily 10ml dose of MYLO:

  • Are up to eight per cent heavier (6kg greater than the control group).
  • Have heavier, more developed rumens and intestinal organs.
  • Show an earlier interest in feed and have the ability to be weaned up to 10 days sooner.
  • Have a more diverse rumen microbiome.

By starting MYLO in your calves from birth, you’re ensuring their gut is populated with beneficial bacteria.

MYLO can be used to support hygienic calf-rearing practices as the probiotic bacteria can help outcompete pathogens in the gut, helping keep calves healthy.

How to use MYLO

MYLO is a liquid formulation, which allows it to be easily mixed into milk or milk replacer.

The dose rate is 10ml/calf/day from birth.

It costs $9/calf (over a 10-week weaning period).

– From Terragen.