A newborn calf has no fully evolved immune system and relies on maternal antibodies for the first two weeks of its life. It will take months until their immune system is fully developed. Also known as “scours”, diarrhea is the biggest cause of financial loss incurred in raising calves.
A USDA survey reported that 24 % of pre-weaned dairy calves experienced diarrhea while 18 % received anti-microbial medication treatment (NAHMS, 2007). Besides using best management practices, the preventive use of antibiotics is still common in many places in order to obviate problems related with calf diarrhea. However, this practice is being discussed controversial nowadays, as public awareness for subjects like antimicrobial resistance and the one-health approach is rising.
Therefore, alternative approaches, also from a nutritional perspective, are needed when addressing diarrhea prevention.
PROVITA SUPPLEMENTS has developed an activated feed grade zinc oxide: MAXACTIVAT/Zn. By using a patented process, utilizing EVM (eccentric vibrating mill) technology, the zinc oxide molecule is mechanically activated.
During a trial (Tab. 1) with 160 Holstein bull calves, mingled from different auction barns and dairy farms, supplementation with MAXACTIVAT/Zn underscored its potential when it comes to enhancing immunity and resilience of dairy and fattening calves.
Only 38.8 % of the treatment group animals, which received 180 mg of Zn (MAXACTIVAT/Zn) through the milk replacer needed treatment, while 46.3 % of the calves of the control group required the same.
If you are interested to learn more about the application of MAXACTIVAT/Zn in calves, check the full article HERE.
Table 1: Appearance of diarrhea and antibiotic treatments within control and treatment group