A new product designed to help maintain health of newborn calves is now available to dairy producers.
George Murphy, senior vice president of business development for Jaguar Animal Health, a company based in San Francisco, discussed the product at World Dairy Expo. World Dairy Expo was a kind of coming home for Murphy whose career started in the dairy industry pioneering the large-scale application of ultrafiltration for recovery of proteins from cheese and casein whey.
Jaguar's first distribution agreement is with Animart in Beaver Dam covering the major Midwestern dairy states. The product was unveiled at the Animart booth during WDE and will roll out across the country over the next year.
According to the company, Neonorm Calf supports gut health in pre-weaned calves by promoting normal stool formation, which reduces dehydration.
How the product works
The main cause of death in pre-weaned calves is dehydration due to scours.
"Viruses and bacteria stimulate a reaction in the cells lining the calf's gut," Murphy explains. "This causes a salt imbalance, driving excess water into the intestines resulting in watery diarrhea. Dehydration associated with diarrhea kills calves. Neonorm Calf helps to normalize the water flow across the gut lining."
Murphy says the product is designed for calves that are two weeks old and younger.
Jaguar Animal Health recommends giving calves two boluses a day for three days.
Neonorm Calf is not an electrolyte and is not a substitute for electrolytes, Murphy explains. "It is an advanced product designed to work at the cellular level. It may be used alongside electrolytes."
One course of treatment costs about $20, Murphy says.
The savings to the dairy producer come by way of reduced labor costs, because the calf remains healthier and there are fewer deaths as demonstrated in a recent university study on 40 calves receiving either Neonorm Calf or a placebo
Fewer deaths is important when one week old bull and heifer calves are selling for $250 to $400," Murphy notes.
"Ultimately, we hope studies done on commercial farms will show there is less use of electrolytes with Neonorm Calf," Murphy says. Studies are currently being conducted in collaboration with the University of California-Davis at Tulare, Cornell University and Tufts University Veterinary School. Studies on one or more Wisconsin farms are being planned and likely to start this year..
"We expect to have results from some of the studies by the end of 2014," he says. "And, over the long run to demonstrate that Neonorm Calf will contribute significantly to early calfhood health."