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.

Fall weather has been here for several weeks, but temperatures will continue to drop as winter arrives. Just as calves can be affected by heat stress, cold temperatures can also impair growth and impact calf health.

Maintaining performance through cold weather can be difficult as energy from the diet is typically directed away from calf growth and immune function towards keeping warm. Whilst there are many management and nutritional tools available to support calf growth, the benefits of phytogenic essential oils is recognized and well-documented.

Natural oregano essential oil contains over 100 active compounds which work in synergy to provide multiple properties, including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antioxidant function. Several research trials have documented the benefits of including 100% natural oregano essential oil supplements in calf diets. Orego-Stim, from Anpario, is a flavoring compound which provides a source of 100% natural oregano essential oil.

In an independent trial conducted at the Agrifood and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Northern Ireland, calves that received Orego-Stim Liquid at 2ml/calf/day in the milk replacer were 2 kg heavier at weaning and nearly 3 kg heavier at 70 days of age, which equaled a 6.8% greater average daily gain benefit over the control group. There were no scours in any of the calves, and in the control group four calves were treated for pneumonia.

Keeping calves performing in cold weather will pay dividends once temperatures warm up. Have a plan in place so you’re prepared when the temperatures drop.

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