Arm & Hammer Animal and Food Production

Preventing the leading cause of death in calves.

Posted June 08, 2023 by Dr. Elliot Block, Research Fellow and Director of Research

The young calves on your dairy farm represent the next generation of milk producers and getting them off to a strong start without the stressors caused by calf scours can lead to healthy youngstock and stronger cows.

Despite spending time, effort and money on treatments, scours remains the leading cause of death in calves.1 The pathogens that cause scours lurk on even the best-managed dairies—and they’re just waiting for the chance to infect vulnerable animals.

The numbers are staggering and impossible to ignore:

  • 57% of calf deaths are due to diarrhea—often in cases less than one month old.2
  • If 50% of calves have scours at 6-10 days of age, each case costs $30 per calf, plus vet expenses.3
  • Eight days of diarrhea during the first 28 days of a calf’s life can lead to a loss of 13.7 lbs. reduced calf body weight by 77 days of age, potentially affecting long term growth and productivity.4

It’s not an attractive picture—but it is an avoidable one.

Preventing calf scours before they start is key. CELMANAX™ feed additive is produced using an enzymatic process that breaks down the components of the yeast cell into small, bioavailable units called Refined Functional Carbohydrates™ (RFCs™). These sugar molecules attach to gram negative bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella, inactivating the bacteria and preventing them from attaching to the gut and causing issues like diarrhea. When the bacteria are unable to attach, they pass through the animal with manure.

When fed to calves, the RFCs help promote a healthy gut and prepare the immune system ahead of a challenge so animals can respond quickly. They also support optimal rumen fermentation and digestion and help animals cope with their environmental challenges.

With CELMANAX, you can proactively improve calf health to better withstand attacks, including those caused by mycotoxins. When your milk replacers and starter feeds are powered by CELMANAX, reduced incidence, severity and duration of cryptosporidiosis has been reported.5

Creating healthy, resilient calves is the cost-effective way to control calf diarrhea before an outbreak, rather than treating sick animals. Instead of stressing over threats, CELMANAX can help you focus on raising resilent heifer calves ready to face day-to-day challenges and join the milking herd ready to be productive.

To learn more about CELMANAX and how it can help you stay ahead of the challenges your calves face, talk to one of our reps today.




Want to learn more about what our #ScienceHearted team can do for your operation? Fill out the form below and one of our experts will be in touch shortly.



About Elliot Block

Elliot Block, PhD, serves as Senior Research Fellow & Director of Technology and R&D at Arm & Hammer Animal and Food Production. His responsibilities include managing the global tech services team and using his extensive research background to provide insight on product applications across the globe.




1 NAHMS, Morbidity and Mortality in Dairy Heifers, USDA, 2021.
2 Cho Y, Yoon K. An overview of calf diarrhea - infectious etiology, diagnosis and intervention. J of Vet Sci 2014;15(1):1–17.
3 Assumes $2.50 per electrolyte dose 3x for four days.
4 Renaud et al. Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 104 No. 2, 2021.
5 Data available on request.

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