In Ireland a presentation was given to the Irish veterinary Council about the Research Innovation (RI): “Thoracic Squeeze in new-born calves with maladjustment syndrome” and a factsheet (see below) was produced to inform about the technique. The RI was also demonstrated in Germany to a group of farmers and in Portugal as on-farm Demonstration and as webinar.
In Ireland A benefit that was seen in this technique is the potential to rejuvenate calves that are slow to suckle post calving. Further benefits are the potential to reduce the treatment costs associated with calves that are slow to suckle. Labour costs, associated with care of a sick calf for a longer period can also be reduced. And there is potential to reduce mortality rates of calves in the first 28 days and reduce illness rates later in life, if calves are given the opportunity to consume colostrum in the first 2 days due to this technique.
However, as this technique needs to be applied by a skilled operator it is important that farmers are trained extensively to both identify a calf that can actually benefit. Irish vets indicated that if a calf is slow to stand due to a hard calving event this technique of applying compression to the chest area may further injure the calf.
Therefore, the conclusion was that this innovation is definitely worth to be recommended to farmers as it is a practice ready solution that most farmers can apply. However, caution needs to be applied to ensure the technique is only applied on calves that are not suffering from a hard calving (dystocia) and those implementing the innovation need to be fully trained in the technique.