Improved intestinal health in calves with AHV Reco Paste
By Siobhan Regan – Veterinary Technical Advisor at AHV UK & Ireland
Healthy calves are an investment for future high-yielding dairy cows, as well as for maintaining a healthy dairy farm. The calf’s potential as a dairy cow is determined by its growth and development in the first phases of life.
Calves are more vulnerable in the first few weeks
In the first three weeks of life, newborn calves go from relying on passive immunity from colostrum to developing their own active immune system. This transition period is commonly referred to as the immunity gap. It is a period when calves are most vulnerable and therefore require extra attention and care, especially on the developing gastrointestinal tract.
The result of calves with optimal intestinal health is that these calves have 10 days less between birth and first calving, and produce up to 518 litres more milk in their first lactation (Aghakeshmiri et al, 2017). Optimal intestinal fluid intake provides hydration and makes the animals feel and move better. Healthy calves benefit from good nutrition and hydration for balanced electrolyte and metabolic acid levels. For the long-term development of the calf, optimum intestinal health is good for the intestinal villi and is beneficial for the balance between desirable and harmful bacteria in the intestines. A healthy intestinal wall leads to optimal nutrient absorption, which has a positive effect on growth rate and future milk production.
The AHV Reco Paste
AHV Reco Paste has been developed for intestinal support of the calf. The product gives a quick boost to the immune system during health challenges. The unique mix of bioactive components has a positive influence on the intestinal flora and provides a calming and protective effect on the intestines, even in challenging conditions.
The table below shows the results of a field study with 17 calves at a Dutch calf farm with Belgian blue female calves. The aim of this study was to determine whether calves recover more quickly with AHV Reco Paste compared to regular methods in situations where intestinal challenges are expected. AHV Reco Paste was administered to nine calves, with the other eight calves serving as a control group. The calves in the AHV Reco Paste group were more active, had a better eye score and had thicker manure within 10 hours after administering AHV Reco Paste.
The calves in both the AHV Reco Paste group and Control group were scored as follows:
- Activity score ranging from 1 to 5: score 1 indicating an alert and active animal with head and ears held up.
- Manure score ranging from 1 to 4: score 1 indicating firm and consistent manure.
The application of AHV Reco Paste makes animals feel and move better. This results in increased activity, maintenance of growth levels and ensures a stable manure consistency in case of deviation. It is important to note that administering Reco Paste alone is not sufficient, drinking water is also essential to make sure the animals feel good.
Dairy farmer about the AHV Reco Paste
“We started with the AHV solutions because we like the fact that you don’t have to consider cows that are not allowed to produce. That gives you a lot of peace of mind as a dairy farmer. The AHV Respi has shown good results with the lungs of our calves and the Calf Start and Reco Paste provide an improved intestinal flora.”
Dairy farm van der Willigen, Bunnik, The Netherlands
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