Navel ill prevention

twizzel

Member
Having trouble this year with suckler calves getting navel ill. I iodine spray them at birth religiously and try to again a few hours later. Calving pens are deep bedded and they go out into a big shed with outside loafing area at a week old, which is bedded every other day. Doing nothing different other than bedding liberally with wheat straw, some of it is a bit damp as been stored outside under silage sheet. So that’s the only thing I can attribute the infections too 🤔

Am I better spraying or dipping navels? Is there anything else I can do to try and prevent it? Brought another one in this morning, 3 weeks old. We’ve had issues with hernias in 2 calves too which have needed surgical repair. All the calves that are succumbing seem to be out of heifers, but they’re getting plenty of colostrum at birth both mothers and powdered. Just wondering if I’m missing something or could be doing something better to prevent it.
 

Top Tip.

Member
Location
highland
Having trouble this year with suckler calves getting navel ill. I iodine spray them at birth religiously and try to again a few hours later. Calving pens are deep bedded and they go out into a big shed with outside loafing area at a week old, which is bedded every other day. Doing nothing different other than bedding liberally with wheat straw, some of it is a bit damp as been stored outside under silage sheet. So that’s the only thing I can attribute the infections too 🤔

Am I better spraying or dipping navels? Is there anything else I can do to try and prevent it? Brought another one in this morning, 3 weeks old. We’ve had issues with hernias in 2 calves too which have needed surgical repair. All the calves that are succumbing seem to be out of heifers, but they’re getting plenty of colostrum at birth both mothers and powdered. Just wondering if I’m missing something or could be doing something better to prevent it.
The best thing I’ve used is a product called footmaster which is basically gentian violet plus antiseptic. Iodine I find the cow’s just lick it off ,this stuff seems to stick and doesn’t seem to be very palatable you also know you’ve done them as the die stays on . We get problems some years but this has worked for me the last couple of years.
 

Dachie

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
east Ayrshire
I buy a pallet of hydrated lime and out a dusting of it down before every bedding works well we have very few cases since doing this where we used to have a handful of cases every year prior to using it
 

twizzel

Member
I buy a pallet of hydrated lime and out a dusting of it down before every bedding works well we have very few cases since doing this where we used to have a handful of cases every year prior to using it
I use lime for lambing but I think spreading it in the big cow house wouldn’t be practical sadly. I might push to clean it out and disinfect with fam in the new year maybe.
 

Dachie

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
east Ayrshire
I use lime for lambing but I think spreading it in the big cow house wouldn’t be practical sadly. I might push to clean it out and disinfect with fam in the new year maybe.
I calved in two 240' X 60' sheds rough 180 cows and we would walk through the cows with a bucket of lime and dust the pens down before using straw blower to bed them extra 10 min and job was done with big benefit to calf health.
 
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Down dale up hill

Member
Mixed Farmer
Dip rather than spray, went to a talk/demonstration on post mortem and he said spraying just gets outside if navel whereas dipping increases chance of getting iodine on inside of umbilical cord and preventing more problems. Was a bloody intresting few hours. Sounds like you have everything clean so bit of a mystery 🤷‍♂️
 
Plenty of straw, plenty of colostrum, lift placentas (even if the cow is eating it) and don't leave cows in mothering pens for too long.
I apply bio-dry between residents.

I dip them with 10% Iodine ASAP after birth and again at around 24 hours, to be honest I usually have the dip cup with me when I'm going through cows and young calves.

IMO if your heifers/cows have plenty of colostrum I'd avoid powdered versions as they'll just dilute the real thing.
powders are unlikely to have antibodies that are set to the bugs on your farm.

I usually have colostrum in the freezer that I've harvested from cows.
 

Extreme Optimist

Member
Livestock Farmer
Had a year of endless navel ill a few years back. Ended up jabbing every calf with Betamox LA and used Stalosan F in the calving pens between each calf. Sorted all the probs. Have dropped the Betamox now but still sprinkle the Stalosan over the bedding between calves.
 

twizzel

Member
Ok thanks. I will speak to Mr Twizzel about lime. Might be worth a try.

Most calves have enough colostrum from mum but a few heifers have been lacking enough so have topped up. They aren’t the milkiest and most of the cows are yet to calve. The calf I brought in today was out of a really milky heifer, textbook unassisted calving and sucked within an hour of being born.

Calves stay in calving pens for a week (group pens, 40x20ft) whilst they have halocur and get their intranasal vaccine. Pens are really deep bedded. This year we’ve got more space than ever as the store cattle are up in another shed, yet still having problems. Always lift afterbirths.

I will get a dip cup and see if that makes any difference. It might just be bad luck 🤷🏻‍♀️ But it’s frustrating me either way. Will also have a go with the lime but as I work off farm at our vets a few mornings a week, Im not always there when they do the yard work. I’ll see what the vet says about blue spray rather than iodine, whether that might be worth a try too. Maybe dip then spray a few hours later. Thanks ☺️
 
Plenty of straw, plenty of colostrum, lift placentas (even if the cow is eating it) and don't leave cows in mothering pens for too long.
I apply bio-dry between residents.

I dip them with 10% Iodine ASAP after birth and again at around 24 hours, to be honest I usually have the dip cup with me when I'm going through cows and young calves.

IMO if your heifers/cows have plenty of colostrum I'd avoid powdered versions as they'll just dilute the real thing.
powders are unlikely to have antibodies that are set to the bugs on your farm.

I usually have colostrum in the freezer that I've harvested from cows.
After reading your post, I went out and milked some colostrum from a cow just calved and gave it to her calf (I was going to give powdered colostrum). I was a bit worried about milking her out, her nickname is "mad cow" as she hated my ex, and would try and attack her! But she is fine with me, and was happy to let me milk her (I let discretion be the better part of valour and put her in the crush first!).
 
Ok thanks. I will speak to Mr Twizzel about lime. Might be worth a try.

Most calves have enough colostrum from mum but a few heifers have been lacking enough so have topped up. They aren’t the milkiest and most of the cows are yet to calve. The calf I brought in today was out of a really milky heifer, textbook unassisted calving and sucked within an hour of being born.

Calves stay in calving pens for a week (group pens, 40x20ft) whilst they have halocur and get their intranasal vaccine. Pens are really deep bedded. This year we’ve got more space than ever as the store cattle are up in another shed, yet still having problems. Always lift afterbirths.

I will get a dip cup and see if that makes any difference. It might just be bad luck 🤷🏻‍♀️ But it’s frustrating me either way. Will also have a go with the lime but as I work off farm at our vets a few mornings a week, Im not always there when they do the yard work. I’ll see what the vet says about blue spray rather than iodine, whether that might be worth a try too. Maybe dip then spray a few hours later. Thanks ☺️
I think a dip cup is far better than spray personally
 
After reading your post, I went out and milked some colostrum from a cow just calved and gave it to her calf (I was going to give powdered colostrum). I was a bit worried about milking her out, her nickname is "mad cow" as she hated my ex, and would try and attack her! But she is fine with me, and was happy to let me milk her (I let discretion be the better part of valour and put her in the crush first!).
Be careful about paying attention to anything I say.🙈

One good thing is that milking that cow galvanised that she liked you better than you ex! 👍
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cheshire
Always dip navels and throw lime around the calving boxes like it’s going out of fashion.
don’t have anything as posh as a dip cup. I’ve got a Calciject bottle with the metal ring removed so it’s a bottle with a rubber bung. Works grand and can carry it in my pocket with minimal risk of leakage at all. If I lose it 🤷🏻‍♂️ Just get another out of the store. After it’s done a few navels chuck it and get a fresh one.
 
We had a few with navel Ill last year which we got recovered on the whole but some of the calves effected are smaller poor doers now. All calves dipped with iodine immediately, it would appear the iodine isn’t working as well as it has been. Years ago we switched to bactikill as advised by the vet which worked well but as it’s unpleasant to use in a spray or dip we decided using it for six months of the year probably wasn’t the best idea for everyone. I think (I stand to be corrected) that it’s ecoli related so colostrum quality is as much importance as dipping navels and cleanliness of pens. The ones we had effected were all off older cows later marked to cull so this would add up. We rotavec everything that calves inside which activates antibodies in colostrum to fight scour. I would imagine in an older cow struggling to produce decent quality colostrum this will be less effective which tells a tale
 

tinsheet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Somerset
Calving outdoors a possibility?
used to calve in doors always seemed to get problems with navel I'll and the odd scour,
now calves in mid April through to the middle of June, problems a distant memory now.
 

Optimus

Member
We used to have problems with navel Ill.used all sorts to try an stop it but back to 10% iodene now.get a cap from a marker spray an fill it up.perfect size for getting all navel in an the surrounding area.do them 2/3 times or until I'm happy its drying up.seems to do the trick hardly jagged any since started doing this.
 

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Five nature-recovery projects spanning 100,000ha launched

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Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

Image-source-Savills-field-640x360.jpg
Five nature-recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000ha across the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset have been announced by the government and Natural England today (Thursday, May 26).

This is the equivalent in size to all 219 current National Reserves.

The aim of the projects is to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, helping to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and improve public health and well-being.

All five projects will make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and...
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