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calves and calving

Livestock & Pets : Calves & calving

The articles below cover almost everything there is to know about calves and calving. There are more articles in  Cattle Behaviour, Cattle Handling and The Basics sections too. If you're looking for something in particular then use the search box above. If not, then browse the article titles and see what there is to help you.  If you can't find an answer here then why not ask in our discussion forums? One of the very friendly and helpful members is sure to be able to help you.

New articles are added all the time so don't forget to check back here regularly!

Every spring a new group of people get the urge to rear 'a few calves' to make some extra income.  This is despite the many others who could tell them that there's very little profit in it.  Here are some points for a very simple system for anyone who plans to rear calves for the first time.  The KIS principle is vital - keep the job simple.

Every lifestyle farmer who breeds cattle need to have a good calving kit.

calfwIf you buy calves directly from the farm where they were born you can see the conditions they have come from.  You can check all sorts of things, such as the way calves are handled, the smell around the calf yard or house, the consistency of faeces and so on.

digestionwThe very young calf is described as "monogastric", ie. it has a single stomach like pigs, poultry and mankind. This is designed to digest milk.

When you go to dairy weaner sales, and see the variation in size of calves that have been "reared" by sincere folk presumably trying to do a good job, you wonder how they got it so wrong.

A few weeks before calving the cow will 'bag up'.

Twins in cattle are not common- about 1 set in every 4000 births. Some dairy farmers find they have a run of twins in some seasons and these are difficult to explain.

syringewProtecting your valuable future money earners is a vital part of your animal health program.

It’s not until you end up trying to save scouring calves from death row that you realise what a risk buying in calves can be.

calfcutewA light-hearted view of life from the calf’s viewpoint – but with a serious animal welfare message.

calvessales1Farmers who have scouring calves that are passing blood should not assume it is Coccidiosis.

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