The independently run practice has been in operation for 45 years and consists of eight vets with a large suckler cow and beef client database.
Nevin is a member of the Northern Irish Simmental Club and British Simmental Society and has a herd of 25 pedigree Simmental cows. As pedigree beef cattle are extremely valuable, Nevin gives his newborn calves Locatim for protection against scour in early life so that they thrive from birth.
“I use Locatim on my own calves to work with the RotavecK99 vaccine, but if I have a spread-out calving pattern, I go ahead and use the product routinely on all newborn calves,“ said Nevin.
Locatim is a highly concentrated sterile solution of specific calf scour antibodies proven to protect newborn calves against scour. Locatim is the only prescription medicine providing guaranteed levels of oral antibodies against calf scour. A single 60ml dose is given to calves in the first four hours of life, prior to the consumption of colostrum.
From his many years of experience, Nevin has noted that incidences of scour occur at particular times of the year or for particular reasons.
“We find in the practice here that the majority of your E coli scours are March and April, which is from a build-up of infection over the winter months when cows have been in for quite some time.
“Our clients use Locatim a lot, especially in the months of March and April when problems with scour arise and I use it routinely if there’s a major problem.
“About six or seven years ago, I had a problem with scour. I then went for the dual option of vaccinating and using Locatim at birth as well and it sorted the problem out,” said Nevin.
Speaking with the team at Forte Healthcare, Nevin explains that if calves contract scour in early life, their performance is reduced in later life. To prevent this, Nevin administers Locatim to each of his Simmental calves at birth.
“I give Locatim immediately to the calf at birth, but also, adequate colostrum, either by suckling or artificial colostrum. Now I have no issues with scour whatsoever.ADVERTISEMENT
“I find that the calves who get Locatim at birth seem to go on and do well. Whereas, calves that would have gotten scour would have had delayed growth rates and poor performance.
“So, the calves that got Locatim seem to be more healthier than those that didn’t get it. I’m very happy with that aspect,” confirmed Nevin.
Losing a calf is a huge loss for all farmers, but especially beef farmers due to their value. Nevin explains that using Locatim from birth as a preventative measure against scour should be incorporated into the herd’s calf husbandry practice.
“Beef-bred calves are gone very expensive and if you lose one calf, finding a similar replacement calf is nearly impossible because a replacement calf has to come from a dairy herd and that calf is nowhere near the quality of the beef calf that you lost.
“I would recommend Locatim to farms because, obviously, apart from the loss of performance, calves with scour are very, very expensive to treat in terms of intravenous drips and rehydration supplements.ADVERTISEMENT
“To me, it’s much better to use a preventative dose of Location and proceed from there.
“The administration of Locatim is very simple, it’s a small dose that’s easy to give and it should be part of your general routine and husbandry practice,” explained Nevin.
Reducing antibiotic usage
Both vets and farmers are finding new ways to reduce their on-farm antibiotic use. Locatim is a biological product, not an antibiotic. Administering Locatim to newborn calves in the face of an outbreak as a preventative measure can subsequently reduce the level of antibiotics required to treat infected calves.
“It works very well and it reduces your overall antibiotic usage on farm, which is the main thing we are trying to promote.
“As veterinarians, we are trying to reduce the use of antibiotics and using Locatim is a good way to achieve this.
“I think Locatim is an excellent product; it’s very simple to administer and it gives great results,” concluded Nevin.
To find out more about Locatim and download your FREE guide to scour managementm visit www.locatim.ie.
Locatim contains bovine-concentrated lactoserum-containing specific immunoglobulin G antibodies against E coli F5 (K99) adhesion =2.8* log /ml. IE: POM UK: POM-VPS. Advice on the use of this medicine must be sought from your veterinary surgeon. Further information available from the package leaflet, SPC or from Forte Healthcare Ltd. www.fortehealthcare.com Date of preparation: July 2023. FOR270.