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Conditions for Calving

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Farmer tips

Planning the right conditions for calving is crucial to the health of both cow and calf. The page highlights the importance of including animal care in your wintering plans and the need to be vigilant in maintaining proper conditions. Calving in muddy environments can increase risks, so you should consider measures like grouping cows by calving date and removing them from crop paddocks well before calving. Farmers' tips on the page include scanning for expected calving dates and special attention to daily practices that help monitor and ensure the animals' well-being during this critical period.

 

Planning to calve in the right conditions is essential for cow and calf health.

Include animal care factors in your wintering plan to ensure the whole farm team understands the level of care expected on your farm during winter.

If a calf is born on crop, promptly collect it.

  • Calving in muddy conditions increases the risk of death and infections for both the cow and the calf.
  • If possible, mob up cows by calving date. Be vigilant in mobs fed fodder beet, as bagging, or springing up, is limited in fodder beet-fed cows.
  • If a calf is born on crop, promptly collect and remove the calf and cow to the milking platform.
  • Remove animals from crop paddocks at least 2 weeks before their expected calving date.

Farmer tips

“We do a dating scan on our herd so that we know when each cow is expected to calve. Cows are drafted off the crop and into a pre-calving mob 10 days before their expected calving date, or earlier if they udder up.”

“Our cows are wintered in BCS mobs initially, and then we redraft them into calving date mobs a couple of weeks before calving starts. The drafting is easy because we tail paint our cows according to their calving date before they go to the winter crop.”

“We move our back fence each day. It’s a great opportunity to look for sick or springing cows. Ever since we’ve done this, we haven’t had any surprise empty cows in spring.”

Providing the right environment for calving gives the best outcome for calves and dams.

Last updated: Sep 2023
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