Tips for Colostrum Management and Calving Assistance Practice

Why is Maximum Sanitation in Calving Assistance and After Birth So Critical?

Bodily, the birth is a huge effort for the calf and a real challenge for its immune defences. It leaves the sterile environment of the uterus and arrives in a world full of contaminants. This is the point when a race takes place between disease pathogens and antibodies, both on their way "into" the calf. Keep the following in mind:

  • Clean and sanitise the calving pen.
  • Clean and sanitise the calving pen.
  • Provide enough high-quality bedding.
  • Use individual pens rather than group pens, where possible, but set the pen up so that the cow will be able to maintain visual contact with the other cows.
  • Prior to calving, clean the cow's genital region and hind legs.
  • Provide optimum initial care to the calf (see check-list).
  • Separate the calf from its mother as early as possible.
  • Take the calf to a cleaned and sanitised individual pen or igloo.

What Do I Do When the Calf Does not Breathe after Birth?

Frequently, the initial seconds, immediately after delivery, are decisive for whether or not the calf lives. During a difficult calving in particular, mucous matter may be trapped in the windpipe and lungs. Then "Act Quickly!"

But refrain from lifting the calf by its hind legs or even laying it across a fence between pens to allow the mucus to drip out. This may injure the calf.

A much more effective—and more gentle—alternative is the use of the CalfVital Calf Resuscitator, to pump the mucus out. It is equipped with a piston that allows easy manual operation. A handy funnel mouthpiece is put over the calf's mouth. By simply initiating the piston, the operator effectively pumps the mucus out of the respiratory tract.

If after this process, the calf still is not breathing, the CalfVital Calf Resuscitator's second mouthpiece can be used for resuscitation. An integrated valve prevents excessive pressure levels, thereby avoiding to compromise the sensitive pulmonary alveoli.

What Can Be Done When the Calf Does Not Drink 4 Litres of Colostrum?

The calf's drive to suckle is strongest following delivery. The earlier you are there to feed it, the more probable it is that the calf will drink the total amount!

Should this not work out, there are two possibilities: •Use a drenching probe to feed the colostrum (only after having been trained by your vet!); or

  • Try feeding the remainder of the colostrum again in the next 4 - 6 hours (let the milk cool to store it and warm it again prior to feeding!).

Administration of Electrolyte Drenches

You can also use the drenching probe and coloQuick bags at a later stage to supply larger amounts of nutrient solutions or medicines easily right into the cow's rumen.

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