Adding Mylo feed supplement to the calf diet has helped produce much healthier animals on the Baxter dairy enterprise, at Ellerslie, in south-east Victoria.
Chris Baxter said the dairy milked 490 cows and calved each year during autumn's cool, wet conditions.
He said scours was always an issue with the calves and this year Mylo, from Terragen Biotech, was recommended as an option to help reduce sickness through the young stock.
"One of the people that milks for us recommended it and we thought we'd give it a try," he said.
Mylo is a liquid microbial feed supplement designed to aid the building of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract.
It was used at the Baxter dairy as soon as the first calves were born in April, with 10 millilitres per day added to the milk for every calf.
Mr Baxter said the results had been outstanding with the calves responding well.
"The calves have done really well on Mylo," he said.
"They are showing good weight gains, are nice and shiny and are very healthy.
"There is nothing worse than sick calves.
"They are worth too much to be sick."
Just one calf was lost during the period, which was well down on previous years.
"Some of the calves did go down a bit but it seemed to be a lot easier to get them back up with Mylo," Mr Baxter said.
"One of the biggest advantages is the time savings.
"We were not spending time with electrolytes and drugs."
The first lot of calves were weaned in July and looked particularly good.
"There is enough evidence that Mylo is definitely working with the calves," Mr Baxter said.
"We are also using Mylo for our cows and I think we'll have a good idea in the next 12 months how it is working there."
The milking cows are also getting a dose of Mylo per day with the supplement added to the bale at a rate of 5 millilitres twice a day.
Terragen's pump system has been installed in the dairy and meters Mylo out easily when the cows come into milk.
"It is early days with the cows, but we are seeing some benefits in what we are doing.
The use of Mylo, and the implementation of a teat spray system, has seen a reduction in the cell count numbers.
"We were quite good at a cell count of 100,000 and have improved that to be down to 50,000 to 60,000," Mr Baxter said.
"A combination of factors is helping that."
He said the cows certainly looked healthy and it would be interesting to see how they perform in the months and years ahead.
The Baxter farm is family-run and milk approximately 90 per cent Friesian, with some Jersey cattle making up the remainder of the herd.
- This article was supplied by Terragen Biotech.
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