Spring calving is just around the corner, so it is time to get prepared. Here are some essentials that you will need to have ready for when calving season starts and some other tips that can make life a bit less stressful during a busy calving season
This needs to happen 6-8 weeks before calving! Administer a mineral bolus or dust minerals on the silage for all cows approaching calving. Having cows with the right mineral status will help prevent difficult calvings, metabolic disorders, retained placentas and will help produce lively, vigorous calves that want to get up and suck.
Soya Bean Meal
Feeding Soya bean meal to cows can help improve the subsequent quality of the colostrum she produces. Soya is very high in crude protein and can be supplemented at a rate of 300-500g/day in the weeks leading up to calving.
Get your calving pens ready
Clean out, disinfect, and bed your calving pens with a fresh layer of straw.
A calving gate is an essential on any farm that is calving cows, if you don’t have one consider getting one installed. If you do have one, make sure the head locking mechanism is working correctly before calving starts.
Check your freezer to see If you have any colostrum left that would have been saved from last year, if not stock up on some on some colostrum substitute. Gather some empty milk cartons that you can use to store and freeze any colostrum you are able to gather from the first few cows that give birth.
Clip Cows Tails
Having cow’s tails clipped before calving will help keep her clean. New-born calves are more likely to pick up infection when suckling an udder that is dirty. It only takes a few minutes to clip her tail and this is definitely time well spent.
Have a store of electrolyte powders at hand in case you have any calves that contract scours. Scouring calves can get dehydrated very quickly so having electrolytes in store to administer quickly while waiting for a vet to arrive could make all the difference.
Make sure your calving jack is working correctly and that you have 2 sets of clean calving ropes.
Use a checklist:
- Iodine Spray
- Calving Gloves
- Lubricant Gel
- Stomach Tube
Finally, get your Moocall Calving Sensor charged up and ready to go!
For further advice on any of the above, please contact a member of the Moocall team to speak to some of our breeding specialists on +353 1 96 96 038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org