Break in the weather wanted to keep new­born calves dry

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery - By LAURA MCLEAY

The sound of young ‘‘moos’’ can be heard across the Mata­mata district as farm­ers head into calv­ing sea­son.

July marks the start of calv­ing sea­son for most farm­ers who are also hop­ing for a break in the wet weather.

One Mata­mata farmer spo­ken to by the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle said af­ter so much rain over the past month, they needed some dry weather to help keep calves and cows healthy.

Calves are sus­cep­ti­ble to pneu­mo­nia if they get wet and cold too soon af­ter be­ing born and cow con­di­tion is af­fected be­cause of the time spent on the yard or stand-off pad. This can af­fect cur­rent milk pro­duc­tion and re­pro­duc­tion per­for­mance next sea­son.

De­spite the rain, there are ba­sic steps that farm­ers need to be aware of when rais­ing new calves.

A calf should be fed colostrum within six hours of be­ing born to build up an­ti­bod­ies in their sys­tem.

From then on they re­quire gen­tle feed­ing and in­di­vid­ual at­ten­tion in clean dry fa­cil­i­ties.

They must be fed reg­u­larly and should have a good qual­ity meal or fi­bre added to their diet to help de­velop their ru­men as they grow.

Calv­ing sea­son gen­er­ally lasts un­til the end of Septem­ber.

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