Are You Ready for Spring Calving?
Spring is almost here and with that comes spring calving. The calving season can either be a difficult or trouble-free time depending on many variables. One thing that will always make calving season a little less stressful is being prepared. Here are a few things to keep in mind when coming into the spring calving season.
- Cow Nutrition: Prior to calving, most of the herd will be consuming low quality hay and a supplement. But once the calf is born the energy requirements of the cow increases. Providing enough energy to produce milk and care for the calf along with maintaining body condition on the cow is crucial.
- Assistance During the Calving Process: Having all of the essential tools and calving area cleaned and prepared for the possibility of having to assist the cow in calving is key. Tools such as: OB chain or Nylon Straps, Calf Puller, Obstetrical Sleeves, Sanitizers/Lubricants, and Head Chute are just a few things to keep handy during this time.
- Post Calving Care: Once the calf is born it is important to make sure that the calf consumes colostrum within 24 hours after birth. Supplemented Colostrum may be required if the calf is unable to suckle or if the colostrum received is of poor quality. It is also key to keep the calf in a warm and dry area if possible.
- Monitoring Calves: The key to good health is early detection of illness. Scours and respiratory issues in young calves is a major factor in calf health. It is important to monitor calves and watch for early signs of illness and have medicine or supplements readily available for treatment.
- Prepare for Breeding Season: There is no rest for the weary, once calving season has started to wrap up, it is time to focus on the upcoming breeding season. Prepare for the breeding season by conducting a Breeding Soundness Exam on the bulls or set up a meeting with your AI technician to review breeding protocols and stud selection.