A Home Remedy for Calf Scours

Calves recovering from scours

Calf scours can make your calf sick. It is important to stop the scours and replenish the fluid your calf is losing. There are a few good home remedies people have been using for hundreds of years to stop diarrhoea in calves and people alike. You can usually get these medicines to your calf a lot faster than you can make a trip to the farm supply store.

Stopping Scours

Calf scours, also called neonatal calf diarrhoea, usually affects calves between seven and 21 days of age. It can be caused by a number of factors including a virus, bacteria and over eating of milk. Cases range from mild to severe. If your calf has mild scours, the only symptom you will notice is the yellow to white pastie diarrhoea that clings to the calves hind quarters. In severe cases, your calf might become listless, weak and reluctant to move. When your calf gets the scours, the first thing you need to worry about is stopping the scours. An ideal home remedy is blackberry root tea. The roots of blackberry bushes have a chemical astringent that dries up excess fluid in the body. This in turn helps stop scours. To make this tea, dig four or five pieces of blackberry root. Each piece should be around 4 inches long. Wash the dirt off them and put them into a 2-quart sauce pan. Add just enough water to cover the roots. The roots should not be free floating. Boil the roots on high heat at a full rolling boil for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid into a container and set the roots aside. You can use the same roots three times before they start losing effectiveness. Add the tea from the blackberry roots to the milk bottle and feed this mixture twice a day until the scours stop. If your calf is no longer on a bottle you can mix the tea in with dry feed. This blackberry root tea usually stops scours in 24 to 48 hours.

An alternative to boiling the roots every time you prepare the tea is to put your roots into a 1-gallon container with a lid. Then add 1/2 gallon of cold water and put on the lid. Soak the roots for at least 48 hours before using the tea. When you take tea out just add the same amount of water back into the container.


Dehydration comes with scours. A home remedy for dehydration is made by adding 1/4 cup vinegar 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons flour to a gallon of water. This replenishes electrolytes lost by scours. At least 1 quart of this mixture should be given to the calf at least once a day. Feed it out of a bottle if possible. If your calf won't take a bottle, add a gallon of the mixture to a gallon of tap water and make this the only water source available to your calf.

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