Spring cat­tle tips

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature - Keep all

• 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.

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