Spring cattle tips
• Get calving gear ready in good time and always seek early veterinary help with problems.
• Have plenty of colostrum available to provide at least 2 litres in the first 6 hours of life.
• Get new calves off muddy paddocks and treat navels with iodine.
• Don’t drench young calves still on milk, but do check for lice.
• Cows suckling more than one calf will need to be fed extra meal as they are milking heavily and this will delay oestrus.
• Keep checking udders for quarters not being sucked out and any damage to teats. Mastitis will show as red, hot, swollen quarters. • When feeding hay or silage, make sure it’s not being wasted, and don’t feed out old mouldy silage or hay to any stock.
• Stand cattle off on to a dry area after heavy rain on a proper feed pad (which complies with effluent disposal rules).
Double check voltage on the boundary fence to prevent unwelcome visits by neighbours’ bulls.
• Castrate all bull calves before six weeks of age with rubber rings.
• Dehorn all calves before six weeks old using an anaesthetic (talk to your vet), and only buy calves that have been properly disbudded.
• If you have not reared calves before, seek good advice before you begin as it is difficult to make it profitable.