Win­ter cat­tle tips

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature Country Calendar: Winter -

• Preg­nant cows need build­ing up in body con­di­tion be­fore calv­ing to be at BCS 5.

• Beef & Lamb NZ has a free con­di­tion scor­ing hand­book with prac­ti­cal tips for beef cat­tle. Go to www.beeflambnz. com and search for ‘Con­di­tion scor­ing for beef cows’.

• Give young stock pri­or­ity feed to keep them grow­ing. Aim for 0.5kg/day.

• Ask for vet ad­vice on the min­eral sta­tus of cat­tle not thriv­ing dur­ing win­ter.

• Do not drench any cat­tle not thriv­ing un­til FEC lev­els are checked and then make sure to use the ap­pro­pri­ate prod­uct.

• Pre­vent pas­ture pug­ging at all costs. Build a shel­tered stand-off pad with ap­proved ef­flu­ent con­trol for wet spells.

• Cull bulls not needed for next sea­son - they are a ma­jor haz­ard.

• Watch for lice on young cat­tle, es­pe­cially calves and year­lings.

• Be pre­pared for early un­ex­pected abor­tions. Check with your vet for ur­gent ad­vice.

• Have the treat­ments ready for meta­bolic prob­lems (milk fever, stag­gers and aci­do­sis) as some may ap­pear in win­ter.

• De­cide what you are go­ing to do about rear­ing calves next spring - book them with dairy farm­ers, which is the best op­tion.

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