If you follow us on Twitter you know that we are getting pretty excited about #calfwatch17. You’ve been waiting nine months to see if your nutrition and breeding decisions were on track and D-day is almost here. Here are three tips to make sure you are prepared for this important phase of production.
- Make sure your calving kit is ready
There is nothing like getting the first calf on the ground and then running around to try and find the tubing bag, or worse yet, only being able to find one calving chain if assistance is needed. Take time now to check your inventory and see what has gone missing or needs to be replaced. We love this checklist that Russ Daly, DVM, DACVPM put together.
- Protect cows and calves from the elements
Winter has arrived with an extra chilly start across a huge portion of the country. Be sure you have taken an inventory of available bedding options. First-calf heifers aren’t always the best about finding the ideal spot to calf in. Ensuring that you have plenty of dry area in your pens with protection from the wind can be the difference in calf survival.
- Get that calf up and going
Once the calf is on the ground you want to ensure that it has the best start to life possible. Consult with your veterinarian about healthy protocols and your nutritionist about a feeding program. You can also review this article on winter supplementation tips.
It is good to have a stash of colostrum on hand for emergencies. Our customers also love using Vita Charge® boluses or gel caps to get calves going. The high level of b-vitamins and Amaferm® is the perfect boost, and something that can also be given to mom if the delivery was stressful.