Calving Season – Tips & Advice

We’ve got customers all across the country, so you may or may not be in the middle of calving season. But we thought we’d share some tips we’ve found to be useful – they might be a refresher or new to you. Either way, we hope you learn something.

Our social media manager, Robin Kleine, shared this picture of a healthy cow/calf at her family’s operation: RJ Show Cattle.

Jeff Caldwell at shared a few tips last year in this post.

  1. If possible prepare small pens for cows to calve in. This will give adequate space for the calf to get up start nursing, and for the mama cow to claim her baby. Think of it as a “private room.”
  2. Try to feed cows in the evening, and research shows they’ll be more likely to calve in the daytime. (Of course we all know that’s not always true, babies will come when babies WANT to come.)
  3. Go easy when pulling a calf. If they’re halfway out and bawling – that’s a good sign! They’ve got oxygen so now you can focus on pulling with the cow’s contractions.
  4. Just because a cow is a doll in the pasture, doesn’t mean she’ll be so pleasant once her calf is born. Hormones (like oxytocin) kick in and she may act a little crazy if you try to come near her calf. Give it a few days and she’ll be back to normal.
  5. Once you know mama and baby are happy, safe & fed – get them back to the group. This is the easiest way to avoid fights/territory wars between the cows.
  6. Call the vet if you’re in trouble. You’re not dumb or incapable, but sometimes weird things happen and you might not know how to fix it. Animal health should be your main concern.

This article from Progressive Cattlemen has some other tips – like selecting for calving ease, record keeping and calf health.

What special things do you do on your farm/ranch to ensure the health of your cows & calves?

P.S. – Remember that Focus Marketing Group is a FULL service livestock marketing agency, so that means we do more than just cattle. If you have pigs, sheep, goats, horses, etc. – We would love to help with your marketing and advertising needs. Visit our website to see examples of our work.