The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.
If you raise dairy calves, it’s almost a sure bet that you have Cryptosporidium present in your operation. This pathogen creeps into your farm causing significant losses ranging from delayed growth to high levels of mortality.

Indeed, Cryptosporidium is the pathogen most commonly diagnosed in association with clinical calf scours in North America.[1] But like a superhero fights crime, a full potential diet can help prepare your calves to battle against Crypto.

“Crypto can be devastating to a calf’s long-term growth and overall health,” says Tom Earleywine, Ph.D., director of nutritional services with Land O’Lakes Animal Milk Products. “Feeding a full potential diet of at least 2.5 pounds of milk solids in 8-10 quarts of liquid per calf daily in conjunction with good calf management can help calves be better equipped to fight off disease challenges.”

In a study[2] conducted by Daryl Nydam, DVM, Ph.D., veterinary epidemiologist with Cornell University, calves fed a full potential diet were shown to gain weight, stay hydrated and resolve scours quicker than calves fed a low plane of nutrition. In fact, calves fed a lower amount of nutrition ended the study weighing less than their birth weight.

Nydam was impressed by the performance of the calves fed a full potential diet. “Despite experiencing scours for several days due to the challenge dose given, the more generously fed calves gained weight and eventually thrived,” he observed. “Providing more nutrients before and during periods of scours is the best thing you can do to help them recover.”

Talk with your veterinarian about how nutrition can help calves in the fight against Crypto. For more information on nutrition and full potential feeding, visit or call (800) 618-6455.

Since 1951, when Land O’Lakes Animal Milk Products Company developed the first calf milk replacer, the company has been committed to creating the best milk replacers from the best technologies and quality ingredients. Land O'Lakes Animal Milk Products Company is a division of Land O'Lakes, Inc. a national farmer-owned food and agricultural organization.

[1]D. Nydam, T. Ollivett, M. Van Amburgh, D. Bowman, J. Wakschlag, Cornell University, Interactions of health, disease and nutrition in dairy calves, June 2016 Calf Summit

[2] Ollivett TL, Nydam DV, Linden TC, Bowman DD, Van Amburgh MA. Effect of nutritional plane on health and performance in dairy calves after experimental infection with Cryptosporidium parvum. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2012, 241(11):1514-1520