Calving season is right around the corner, meaning now is the time to ensure you are prepared. A little organization now can help you avoid a scramble in a few weeks. Over the past two years, it has been challenging to source tags for customers. With that in mind, and especially if you prefer pre-numbered or special-order tags, the earlier you place your order, the better your chance of acquiring the tags you want.
As you approach 30-60 days before calving, it’s time to put good mineral in front of your cows if they are not already benefitting from a mineral program. The feedstuffs in every area are different, and your Sioux Nation Ag Center field marketer or location can suggest an option that works best for your operation or help determine that a custom mix is your best bet.
It is also time to schedule your pre-calving vaccinations if you haven’t already done so.
In addition to having your calving barn or maternity pen ready for the first early calves of the season, this checklist of items to have on hand will also help you be organized.
Supplies and Equipment:
Toolbox or container dedicated to calving items
Halter and rope
Disposable long-sleeve OB gloves
Obstetrical lubricant in a squeeze bottle
Plastic bucket and/or squeeze bottles for wash water
Rags for washing the cow
Clean OB chains and handles
Suction bulb for suctioning newborn nostrils
Flashlight with fresh batteries
Sterile syringes and needles
Bottle and nipple
Stomach tube or esophageal feeder
Calf sled or cart to transport newborns to the barn
Two thermometers–one for sick calves and one for hypothermic newborn and young calves
Pharmaceuticals and supplemental items:
• Oxytocin and epinephrine
• Iodine or chlorhexidine for disinfecting newborn navels
• Injectable antibiotics for cows and calves (prescribed by your vet)
Frozen colostrum from last year or a package of commercial colostrum replacer