Are you prepared for calving season?

January 21, 2019

Just last night I was visiting with my dad and said, "Do you realize we are only 60 days from calving?" I'm not sure where the time went, but it seems like we were just weaning the 2018 calves and here we are getting ready for the 2019 calving season. Many of you are done pregnancy checking and already have your replacement heifer's Bangs vaccinations completed, but do you have your calving season supplies ready? Let our feed team at Central Valley Ag help you prepare with colostrum and milk replacer in case of an emergency.
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 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 mineral 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.
In the last week, I have been checking our barn to find the calving chains/straps, calf jack, gloves, tags and tagger, bands, navel spray, my CVA calving book, and colostrum. Plus, I have my vet's phone number handy. Also, 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, and our Purina Availa 4 XPC tubs 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 Availa 4 XPC tubs.
by Brandi Salestrom
Posted: 1/21/2019 1:34:54 PM by Kristin Petersen | with 0 comments