Retailer Map

Enter your town, city or postcode to find your nearest retailer:

Fresh Start proved farm’s scours was more than a ‘grumbling’ problem

Dairy farmer Allan Young was not too concerned by the grumbling, low level salmonella scours problem in his young calves. It wasn’t causing any deaths, he says, just taking the edge off their growth.

But, at the suggestion of his local Downland retailer, McCaskie Agriculture, he treated his calves with Fresh Start® Improve – and he was greatly impressed with the results.

“The difference underlined just how significant the problem was,” says Allan. “With Fresh Start® Improve the appetite and growth of calves improved and they were more vigorous. It cleared the scours problem we had suffered.”

Allan is the third generation of his family to run Straid Farm at New Cumnock in Ayrshire. He does so in partnership with his wife Elaine and parents David and Kay Young. They have 160 milking cows – Holsteins – and about the same number of young stock on the 220-acre farm, which is all down to grass.

David, with the caution that’s a trade mark of hard-working farmers, wanted proof that curing the problem was a result of Fresh Start® Improve and not their fine-tuning to calf management. Says Allan: “We stopped using the product for one batch of calves, for about a month, and the scours came back.”

It convinced them all that the success was down to Fresh Start® Improve, and now its use is a routine part of calf management.  Mortality rate on the farm is below one per cent. “Deaths have never been a big issue here.  At one stage mortality did rise to three per cent, but that was largely down to a ventilation issue in the rearing shed, which we quickly sorted,” he adds.

About 30 calves a year are bred as dairy herd replacements. Other cows produce continental-cross calves, Limousine or Belgian Blue, via AI to produce quality calves for the beef market.

Once farmers have ruled out nutritional causes of scours – such as over feeding or incorrect mixing of milk replacer – the finger of blame will point at infection. This can be viruses such as rotavirus and coronavirus; bacteria, for example E.coli or salmonella, or parasites – such as cryptosporidium and coccidia.

Scours is the most common disease problem in unweaned calves says NADIS, the National Animal Disease Information Service. It is responsible for about half of all calf deaths in Britain.

Results of a late 1990s study into calf enteritis, produced by NADIS, put costs per scouring calf at an estimated £26. It suggested the total cost, taking account of depressed weight gain and lost milk yield, totalled about £123 per affected calf (Byron, J S 1997).

The unique package of ingredients that make up Fresh Start® Improve reduces scours, improves growth and supports the immune system. It also contains DHA omega-3, essential for calf development.  Fresh Start® Improve is only available through the Downland network of agricultural retailers throughout the UK.

Says Allan Young: “The product has proved its value on our farm.  I was away for a while during the treatment of a batch of calves. When I got back the difference in the young animals was quite astounding.  Its use is good welfare, and good economic sense.”

For more information, to find your closest retailer or buy online click here

4th September 2018

We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.