Controlling coccidiosis and cryptosporidiosis during the calving period

Coccidiosis and cryptosporidiosis are caused by oocysts, which thrive in a livestock environment. Both of these microorganisms can cause illness in cattle and youngstock are particularly liable to infection.

In many cases, animals will show few external symptoms, but will simply fail to thrive and, as a result, profit margins will be squeezed.

It is possible to use medication to shorten the length of any illness and reduce the chance of secondary infection. However, it is far more effective to reduce infection rates in the first place by preventing the intake of oocysts by young animals.

This is where having a robust biosecurity plan in place is crucial to prevent the rate of infection and spread of disease. If this robust plan is adhered to, the profitability of each animal will increase.

Implementing a cleaning and disinfection programme

Implementing a cleaning and disinfection programme can seem like a daunting process. However, the steps are relatively simple.

It is important to accurately assess the current situation, including the disease status of the herd and any hygiene procedures already in process.

The initial stage would be to remove livestock from the housing area and muck out before commencing an effective clean using a foaming detergent designed to remove soiling and grease. This should be thoroughly rinsed and allowed to dry.

The key stage is to then apply a target disinfectant, which is effective against the oocysts responsible for coccidiosis and cryptosporidiosis.

Apply the disinfectant following the usage instructions and then the pens can be re-bedded in preparation for the animals to return. It may also be useful to introduce a hygienic bedding powder to enhance the sanitation in the area.

The detergent – Ecofoam Advanced

Using a quality detergent to remove all organic matter prior to disinfection is paramount to the routine. Ecofoam Advanced has been developed specifically for this purpose.

It’s an ultra-high performance, alkaline, long-cling foam cleaner which is designed to clean heavily-soiled areas.

Benefits of Ecofoam Advanced:
  • Advanced “wet film foam” technology gives enhanced cling to all surfaces;
  • Ideal on porous surfaces;
  • Excellent removal of carbohydrate, starch, fat and protein deposits;
  • Fully effective regardless of water hardness;
  • Proven to significantly reduce time and workload required during wash down.

The disinfectant – Cyclex

Cyclex is approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA NI) as a clinically-proven disinfectant in the defence against oocysts responsible for coccidiosis and cryptosporidiosis.

Benefits of Cyclex:
  • Easy to mix and easy to use;
  • A practical and easy-to-apply solution;
  • Specially formulated, chlorocresol-based disinfectant with strong microbiocidal properties (passed EN1656, EN1657,EN14349);
  • Passed the rigorous testing requirements recommended by the German Veterinary Association (DVG) against spore-forming oocysts;
  • Can be used in poultry, pig, sheep, goat and cattle housing;
  • Eliminates risk of residues (cyuranic-acid free);
  • Contains no chemicals of industry concern (QUAT- free).

The bedding conditioner – Envirex

Envirex conditioner contains a unique combination of 2% w/w (weight per weight) of the proven biocidal product Virex. It’s found in a base-powder formulation, comprised of mineral desiccants and essential oils.

This was specifically designed to maintain a dry, healthy environment for all types of livestock animals.

The formulation is comprised of ingredients which:
  • Ensure longevity of the product, even under high-humidity conditions;
  • Do not paste up to form clumps after drying;
  • Reduce greasiness in animal accommodation and provide a non-slip environment;
  • Have a greater absorptive capacity than that of any other clay;
  • Help prevent the skin from drying; keeping it supple and less likely to suffer from lacerations.

The importance of nutrition

It is also important to consider the nutrition and management routine for young calves in order to give them the best possible start in life.

Ensuring the calf receives adequate colostrum after birth ensures they receive the required antibodies to boost the immune system and fight diseases.

A calf will only start to produce its own antibodies over the first three-to-four weeks from birth and it may be necessary to supplement the dam’s colostrum to ensure the calf gets the maximum protection.

Reviewing your process for handling and housing calves can also help reduce the spread of disease within a herd.

Rearing in batches to avoid younger calves mixing with or being accommodated in areas used by older calves can help prevent cross contamination.

All livestock handlers or visitors to the farm should also follow appropriate biosecurity measures – such as foot dips and hand washing – to prevent disease being transferred between areas.

More information

For more information on how Kilco can enhance your biosecurity, contact the company at: 0044-1576 205480. Click here for more information