Calving tips 2013

Calving Tips 2013


As we all now cows who struggle with health problems at calving are on the back foot in terms of Milk Production from the start.


Health problems such as assisted calving, retained placentas can have serious knock on effects down the road in terms of Milk Production and vet bills.


Here are some handy tips to remember to minimise potential health problems.

  1. Remember to document health problems with cows, when you are in the thick of it can be difficult to remember in two or three weeks time which cow had what problems. If you record it you can see if certain cows are prone to problems over successive calving.
  2. Calf cows in a clean environment. Keep in mind that during contractions a cow will take in any dirty contaminated air into her womb and this can cause serious health problems. Good clean Straw may be expensive this year and a bit of work but it is vastly cheaper than an empty cow.
  3. Try to watch High risk calving or calving which is likely to be long duration.
  4. Make sure cows that are due to calf are separated from the herd in plenty of  time. The risk of her and her calf getting hurt during calving is exponentially greater if they are in a herd of others.
  5. If you are assisting at calving make sure that you are clean. It may sound obvious but its worth remembering that the risk of a cow contracting infection goes up a hundred fold if you don’t use arm length gloves when assisting at calving.
  6. Establish a routine after calving to clean equipment and have it ready to go for the next calving. Don’t wait till the next calving to start cleaning the ropes and equipment.

Stop and take a breath. This is experience from a hundred years ago that has been handed down and is still is relevant today. All too often we can fall into the temptation of jumping in all guns blazing to assist at a calving, especially if a cow is in distress. Cows like humans can tell a mile away if you are panicky or in bad humour and they will react to it. Stop and take a breath, if you are talking to someone talk in measured tones and take the time to think about what you are doing.

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