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It’s not until you end up trying to save scouring calves from death row that you realise what a risk buying in calves can be.
Every spring a new group of people get the urge to rear 'a few calves' to make some extra income. This is despite the many others who could tell them that there's very little profit in it. Here are some points for a very simple system for anyone who plans to rear calves for the first time. The KIS principle is vital - keep the job simple.
If you buy calves directly from the farm where they were born you can see the conditions they have come from. You can check all sorts of things, such as the way calves are handled, the smell around the calf yard or house, the consistency of faeces and so on.
The very young calf is described as "monogastric", ie. it has a single stomach like pigs, poultry and mankind. This is designed to digest milk.
Farmers who have scouring calves that are passing blood should not assume it is Coccidiosis.
When you go to dairy weaner sales, and see the variation in size of calves that have been "reared" by sincere folk presumably trying to do a good job, you wonder how they got it so wrong.