Malatya Haber Preventing, treating calf scours
Home News Livestock Crops Markets Hay, Range & Pasture Home & Family Classifieds Resources This Week's Journal
Commerical Hay Equipment For The Farm
Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer

Farm Survey

Journal Getaways

Reader Comment:
by Greater Franklin County

"Thanks for picking up the story about our Buy One Product Local campaign --- we're"....Read the story...
Join other discussions.

Preventing, treating calf scours

Scours is responsible for more calf deaths prior to weaning than any other cause, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Animal Health Monitoring Survey. Scours reduces the secretion of acid into the abomasum, reducing the ability to digest milk protein. It is characterized by frequent diarrhea, sometimes accompanied by blood, mucus, or bright yellow or white feces. Scouring calves may be weak, reluctant to feed and have sunken eyes, elevated temperatures and peaked or tented skin.


Scours often results from stress and nutritional inadequacies. Stress can be caused by environmental factors such as overcrowding, sudden changes in the weather, extreme cold or heat, dampness, drafts or humidity, poor handling practice and poor sanitation. Nutritional scours can advance to infectious scours, in which viruses, bacteria and protozoa overpower the immune system in the intestines.


Colostrum should be fed as soon as possible after birth, but certainly within the first 24 hours. It should be collected using sanitary equipment, tested for IgG concentrations with a Brix refractometer, labeled and refrigerated quickly.

Careful observation—at least three times a day—helps catch symptoms early. Early symptoms include:

Milk refusal;

Not getting up eagerly at feeding;

Dry muzzle, think mucus at nostrils;

Changes in feces consistency; and

Body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit.


Once calves have developed scours, work with your veterinarian to develop a treatment protocol and identify the source of scours. Treatment will most likely include oral electrolyte therapy and in severe cases (due to dehydration) intravenous administration of sterile saline. Antibiotics may be administered for infectious scours.

Scouring calves should be housed in a clean, dry, warm pen and fed small, frequent amounts of milk replacer (and electrolytes).

Date: 10/7/2013


Copyright 1995-2014.  High Plains Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Any republishing of these pages, including electronic reproduction of the editorial archives or classified advertising, is strictly prohibited. If you have questions or comments you can reach us at
High Plains Journal 1500 E. Wyatt Earp Blvd., P.O. Box 760, Dodge City, KS 67801 or call 1-800-452-7171. Email:


Archives Search

NCBA Convention

United Sorghum Checkoff Program

Inside Futures

Editorial Archives

Browse Archives