Blog > February 2020 > Calving Season Checklist

Calving Season Checklist

February 10, 2020


The time is here for calving season! I’ve already been enjoying watching the calves that have already been born running and playing in the dry lots or out on stalks. Our CVA feed locations are ready to serve your needs with colostrum and milk replacers. If you are in a bind and can’t make it to town, don’t worry. Help is just a call away with our sales team out on the road to assist.
 
Colostrum, often referred to as first milk, contains antibodies to protect a calf from disease. Calves should receive colostrum within an hour of birth and no later than 6 hours. Studies have shown that by 24 hours, only 10% of the immunoglobins are absorbed. Please remember the first feeding must be colostrum and not milk replacer. Many colostrums can be used as a replacer and supplement. 1 packet of colostrum serves as a replacer, while a ½ packet is sufficient to use as a supplement. Shelf life is 12 months and once it has been mixed with water, colostrum needs to be used immediately.
 
Besides colostrum, which in my opinion is the most important packet to have on hand, is milk replacer. Milk replacer is a formula used in place of a cow's milk. There are many reasons to need milk replacer such as a poor milking mother, a twin situation, or orphan calf, just to name a few. Calves can't digest ingredients easily under 4 weeks of age, so milk replacers are used as a primary feed source. Protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals are all in milk replacer and help to get a calf off to a good start. Most bottle calves need to be fed a few times during the day, along with available fresh water.
 
Take the time prior to calving to find the calving chains/straps, calf jack, gloves, tags and tagger, bands, navel spray, CVA calving book, and colostrum.  It’s also important to have your vet's phone number handy for any emergencies. Check to make sure your working facility is ready to go for quick and easy access if there is a problem. A dry, warm area for calves will decrease the chance of sickness.  Plus, keep in mind we have tubs available that can be of some assistance to help avoid scours.

For more information, visit your local Central Valley Ag Feed location and we would be happy to help with any questions about colostrum, milk replacers, or mineral options.
 
by Brandi Salestrom
Posted: 2/10/2020 2:38:25 PM by Kristin Petersen | with 0 comments


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