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How do you take care of calves?

Posted on: November 8, 2019, by Victoria

The purpose of removing horns is to prevent cattle from hurting people or other cattle. For calves before 30 days of age, electric cautery can be used to remove horns; for calves aged from 1 to 3 months, caustic sodium (potassium) cauterization can be used; for larger calves, chisel or sawing can be used to remove horns.

1.Excision of accessory nipples

Some calves are born with 1 to 2 nipples besides 4 normal nipples. These extra nipples are called accessory nipples. It not only affects the appearance but also causes bacterial infection and affects milking. When calves are 1 to 2 months old, the accessory nipples can be removed. The specific method is to disinfect the breast first, then cut off the accessory nipple from the base with sharp bending shears, and disinfect the wound with 5%-10% iodine tincture to prevent infection.

2. Adequate drinking water should be provided

Because the water content in milk can not meet the normal metabolic needs of calves, cows must drink enough water during lactation. Initially, 1/2-1/3 of hot water can be added to milk, and a water tank is set up in the calf playground to allow it to drink freely.

3.Strengthen exercise

In addition to cold and cloudy weather, calves can be allowed to move freely 10 days after birth and should be properly driven after 4 to 6 weeks. The daily exercise time should not be less than 1 hour to enhance the calf's physique.

4. Be diligent in cleaning and observing

Calves have a high requirement for the living environment. We should clean and change their bedding grass frequently in the shed, and keep it clean, dry, warm, spacious and ventilated. When feeding calves, observe their appetite, exercise, and spirit; when sweeping the floor, observe their feces. Healthy calves are alert, bright-eyed and have shiny coats. Otherwise, they may become ill. If it is found that calves have sunken eyes, drooping ears, tightly packed skin, and heavily contaminated feces, it can be initially diagnosed as enteritis.

Seven Key Points of Calf Raising
Seven Key Points of Calf Raising

5. Be clean

The feed and milk of calves should not be mildewed or frozen and caked, and the metal such as nails and fecal impurities should be prevented from mixing. Commodity feed must within the shelf-life. If the self-made feed is to be fed, it must be ready-made. When artificial feeding, the cows and feeding tools must be cleaned after each use. Brush the calf body 1 to 2 times a day to ensure that the calf is not polluted by sewage and feces and reduce the incidence of disease.

6. To prevent licking addiction

Newborn calves are best fed in a single column. After each feeding, the residual milk in the mouth and nose of the calves should be wiped clean. For calves who have developed licking habit, a small wooden board can be put in front of the nose to correct it. Besides, the single-loop calf feeding method plays an important role in controlling the occurrence of colibacillosis and reducing the incidence of umbilical cord inflammation in calves.

7.Strict disinfection

A regular disinfection system must be established, once a month in winter and twice to three times a month in summer. The ground, walls, railings, and troughs should be thoroughly disinfected with caustic sodium and limewater. If infectious diseases are found, the environment and utensils touched by sick and dead cattle must be thoroughly disinfected.

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