6 tips for spring calving
As a rule of thumb, check cows two to four times a day and first-calf heifers more frequently.
In poor weather conditions (wet, muddy), check cows and calves more often as a precaution.Date Published: April 9, 2015Date Updated: April 9, 2015
If a new-born calf has not sucked, be sure to administer colostrum (esophageal feeder or nursing bottle/bucket) soon after birth.
One to two quarts is typically recommended within the first four hours.Date Published: April 9, 2015Date Updated: April 9, 2015
A handling facility that includes a head-gate is a necessity during the calving season, not only for dystocia problems but also when there are limited dry areas where newborn calves can be born or lie down.
If possible, be flexible with the penning area so cows and newborn calves can be isolated to bond, nurse, etc. Keep the area bedded and free of mud. Also prepare an area to dry and warm chilled calves.Date Published: April 9, 2015Date Updated: April 9, 2015
Identifying cow and calf
It is highly recommended that newborn calves have ear tags inserted or be tattooed.
Producers are urged to record cow identification, calf identification, date of birth and other pertinent information that may be needed for future reference.Date Published: April 9, 2015Date Updated: April 9, 2015
Monitor for scours and other health issues such as pneumonia.
Producers are recommended to consult with their veterinarian to prevent, identify and treat animals that have health concerns.Date Published: April 9, 2015Date Updated: April 9, 2015
Lactating cows have a significantly higher nutrient requirement compared to gestating cows, especially when environmental conditions such as mud increase maintenance requirements.
For more cow-calf information and practices, visit Iowa State University Outreach and Extension.Date Published: April 9, 2015Date Updated: April 9, 2015
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