These pleasant December days could be put to good use in preparation for the spring calving season. Now is a good time to check the pens, calving stalls and the equipment that will be used in February and March. Do a “walk through” of pens, chutes, and calving stalls.
Make sure that all calving pens or stalls are clean, dry, strong, safe and functioning correctly. Many producers use the calving shed or stalls for storage the “other” ten months of the year. Now is an excellent chance to clear out the items that are in the way and not needed for assisting the cow or heifer in labor. This is much easier to do on a sunny afternoon than on a cold dark night when you need them in a hurry.
Locate and purchase the colostrum or colostrum replacers that will be needed for those calves that are born but too weak and sluggish to nurse quickly. Some calves born to two-year-old heifers may need additional colostrum because the cow is not producing adequate amounts of first milk. Commercial colostrum replacers should contain 100 grams or more of immunoglobulin per dose. Read the label to be certain. These need to be on hand before the calving season begins.