Calf Vaccines and Scouring Aids

There are several products available, to be given directly to the calf, that supply antibodies against bacteria, viruses and toxins.

  • First Defense™ boluses by Immucel, offers protection against E. coli and coronavirus.
  • Calf Guard™ by Pfizer, a modified live vaccine given orally to newborns that helps control scours caused by Rota and Corona viruses.
  • Bovine Ecolizer + C20™ by Novartis, contains an antitoxin against Clostridium perfringens and an antiserum against E. coli that aids in the prevention of scours caused by those agents.
  • BoviCare™ by Mg Biologics, contains Crytosporidium parvum egg derived proteins that are designed to meet enteric health needs and promote increased feed efficiency and weight gains.

The timing of administration for all products is critical. These products need to be given at least an hour prior to the first feeding to allow for adequate absorption. Once the first colostrum enters the digestive tract, it hinders the absorption of these products.

Key Areas to Inspect for Cleanliness

Good sanitation is the other key to preventing calf scours. Remember, a calf explores its environment with its tongue and the causative agents of scours are contracted orally.

Six critical areas/items to investigate:

1. Calving pen (most critical)

  • Clean and bed this area as frequently as possible.
  • Almost every animal on a farm will be in this area in the course of a year, therefore every pathogen on a farm will be concentrated in this area. Anything that comes in contact with a newborn calf should be sanitized thoroughly after every use.

2. Colostrum milking buckets and hoses

  • Sanitize thoroughly after every milking.
  • Change hoses regularly.

3. Esophageal feeders

  • Sanitize thoroughly after every use.

4. Bottles and nipples

  • Sanitize thoroughly after every use.
  • Use brushes specially designed to clean nipples.

5. Feeding buckets

  • Wash after every use.

6. Hutches and individual calf pens

  • Thoroughly sanitize and wash in between calves.


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