Breeding – “free-range calves” have fewer pneumonia

A practical experience, unique in Switzerland, has shown that calves can be fattened by considerably reducing the use of antibiotics.
Jocelyn Rochat

Posted today at 19:54

We see here a group igloo where the calves should be fattened, in small groups and in the open air, after a quarantine phase which ensures that there are no sick people in the group.
We see here a group igloo where the calves should be fattened, in small groups and in the open air, after a quarantine phase which ensures that there are no sick people in the group.

PNR 32 Peter Mosimann

For their investigation, the researchers made numerous visits to the farms in order to document the state of health of the calves.

For their investigation, the researchers made numerous visits to the farms in order to document the state of health of the calves.

PNR 72 Peter Mosimann

A model farm is seen here: on the left, there are small individual igloos to accommodate animals that were recently purchased. And on the right, there are group igloos, where calves can go after quarantine. They find there straw and a roof.

A model farm is seen here: on the left, there are small individual igloos to accommodate animals that were recently purchased. And on the right, there are group igloos, where calves can go after quarantine. They find there straw and a roof.

PNR 72 Peter Mosimann

1 / 3

Fattening calves requires large amounts of antibiotics. The problem is recurrent, despite the efforts of the branch, which has already reduced their use in recent years. Yet it is possible to do much better. This has just been demonstrated by a team of researchers gathered around Mireille Meylan, at the Vetsuisse faculty of the University of Bern.

“The results are spectacular. What we saw clearly exceeded our expectations, ”says veterinarian Jens Becker. While in the normal farms used for the comparisons, one in two calves receive antibiotics during their lifetime, this figure rises to only one in six calves in the farms that have tested the “free-range” method. . And the difference is even more glaring when you look at the duration of treatment: “On the farms that tested the new concept, it took five times fewer days of antibiotics to treat the sick animals.”

ABO articles are for subscribers only.

Source

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV Measures that impact the bereaved
NEXT Perseverance and Ingenuity pose together before their split to explore Mars