Sunday, December 1, 2013

Three Tips to Lighten Calving Days during Winter

Gearing up for a ranch purchase this winter? You might be interested in knowing a few tips to help you ensure successful calving during the cold season. Every good cowboy knows that calves need colostrum immediately within their first few hours of life, but beyond that, the tricks of the trade to make a calving season run more smoothly can vary greatly. Here are a few ideas to consider:

Provide shelter

Colder environment can compound a young cow’s efforts to feed. Thus, during inclement weather, windbreaks and bedding for the newborn animals are essential. Providing a barrier between the freezing cold and the body of a wet newborn calf can help ensure its survival.

Monitor condition

Long-time cattle operators emphasize the importance of monitoring the condition of the females before calving. This needs to be done not only to ensure adequate colostrum production, but also its ability to breed in the future. Body condition scores of 5 ½ and above will pay dividends when it comes to these two critical factors of cattle raising.

Keep calf pens clean

Sanitary calving areas are essential for getting the newborn animals off to a good start. Experts recommend dipping iodine on their navels to prevent infection. You may also want to give them a shot of vitamin B complex to boost their immune system.


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