Bottle-fed calves may be cute, but as anyone who’s kept one can attest, they’re a nuisance – and worse, a drain on time and profits. Healthy cattle who can deliver healthy calves with minimal assistance…
The Kerr Center livestock program uses a whole-farm approach to herd health.
Difficulty in birthing causes many later problems
for both cow…
- longer interval to next calf
- reduced fertility
…and calf alike:
- reduced immunity
- slower weight gain
Early intervention with difficult births is key.
Disease depends on both exposure and immunity.
To boost immunity:
- reduce stress
- supply adequate, quality forage
- use vaccines properly
To reduce exposure:
- keep it clean: facilities, water, animals, pastures
- avoid crowding
- prevent mingling with other farms’ animals
Detect problems early – monitor behavior and performance:
- behavior on pasture: grazing? resting?
- body condition scoring