Animal Health Treatments And Issues Around Weaning

January 5, 2022

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Young growing animals require adequate Copper intake. The safest and most cost effective way to supplement Copper for young weaner dairy calves is to administer a 10gm Copper Capsule either at weaning or at the drench following weaning.


Young calves are susceptible to coccidiosis, this is the main reason coccidiostats are added to a lot of the brands of meal. The bug cycles through the animal’s gut building up in numbers and clinical disease is often associated with some form of stressor.


  • As a general rule the calves need to be eating 100gm of meal per 10kg liveweight to be getting a high enough dose of the coccidiostat
  • It is important to ensure that the calves are eating at least 1kg and up to 2kg of meal per calf per day as they are weaned off milk
  • We would normally recommend that the calves are fed meal for a week or two after transfer to the run or grazing to help smooth the transition at a stressful time


There are drenches which contain drugs that kill all life stages of coccidia and break the cycle, when used preventatively they are generally given as the calves are being weaned off meal

  • Toltrox and Baycox are two drenches that are specifically for coccidia
  • Turbo initial is a drench that contains both an anti-coccidia drug as well as two gut worm chemicals, alongside Selenium and Cobalt therefore is a great weaning drench to be giving when coccidia is considered a problem

Gut Worms and Lungworm

Gut worms can start to have an impact prior to weaning especially where calf rearing occurs in the same paddocks year after year. Lung worms can become an issue at any time and it is often very difficult to predict

 Drenching prior to and during the weaning process:

  • Young calves (less than 120kg) should only be drenched with a double combination oral drench i.e. Arrest C (1ml per 10kg with no Selenium) or Oxfen C Plus (1ml per 20kg with Selenium)
  • Drench should be shaken well and the calves weighed so you know what the dose should be for the heaviest calf in the mob.Split mobs based on liveweight if there is a large difference between the smallest and largest calves
  • Ensure drenching is kept to regular intervals, preferably less than 30 days, when using oral drenches
  • Once the calves are over 120kg consider moving up to a triple combination drench i.e. Matrix minidose (1ml per 10kg with Selenium) or Matrix C (1ml per 20kg with Selenium)

Animal health considerations


  • Clostridial vaccinations should have been completed i.e. 2 shots of Covexin 10 given 4-6 weeks apart
  • Lepto vaccinations are usually given after weaning. Ideal timing is for the first shot during December and the calf booster during January

Trace Elements (Given with drench)

  • B12 + selenium injection if using Arrest C
  • Straight B12 if using Oxfen C plus or any drench with selenium in it

Other diseases to watch for


  • Poor condition, scouring, poor appetite, easily mistaken for worms. Stress induced. Usually requires antibiotics to treat.

Thiamine deficiency (Vit B1 deficiency)

  • Blindness, staggering, unable to stand up, head/neck stretched back
If you have any concerns about your calves or any questions, give your vet a call on 0800 VETPLUS