Setting up for Calving
4 min read
Planning and preparing for calving with your farm team will reduce stress when calving is in full swing, and will help keep everyone safe and healthy. Calving is one of the busiest times of the year. Spend time with your team prior to calving to create a plan that works for everyone and the results will follow. Ensure you have everything you need prior to calving to help reduce stress, keep you on track from the get-go, and to create better outcomes for your team and animals.
To get your team on-board and performing at their best they need to:
This video outlines some of the key areas to be mindful of during calving and how you can keep yourself and your team safe and healthy over calving.
Well-stocked calving kits will save you making trips between the paddock and the shed. Keep your calving kit at the gate of the springer paddock or in your farm vehicle. Make sure that everyone knows where they are and can access one easily.
Tape a checklist of contents inside the bucket and have a team member in charge of making sure it is restocked regularly.
✔ Bucket with a lid to contain kit
✔ Metabolics (Clearly labelled milk fever treatments and starter drench).
✔ 3 calving ropes or chains (Remember to clean after each use).
✔ 2 litre container of lube (A plunger pump is an easy way to dispense lube).
✔ Towel and soap for cleaning hands
✔ Notebook and pencil (A pencil will still work in wet conditions, unlike a pen).
✔ Ear tags or other calf identification system (Pre numbered tags save time and reduce recording mistakes).
✔ Spray paint - red plus another colour (Red can indicate a warning. E.g. withhold milk. Communicate this with staff).
✔ Head torch and spare batteries
✔ Iodine spray for navels - pre-mixed with water (Do not use teat dip as an alternative).
✔ Key contact numbers (Vet, manager on laminated sheet).
✔ Food/energy bars
The transition period is a significant time for the cow, and how you manage your cows as they prepare to calve can impact on how quickly they recover post-calving. Here’s a few tips to help you set your plan for calving: