Calving Preparation saves Time, Money & Disappointments.
There’s a rewarding feeling during the calving season but get caught unprepared and with a poor setup, the struggles will be expensive and unpleasant memories.
Designating one pasture as the Maternity Ward simplifies your daily work during the calving season. It should be the first place & the last place you check each day during calving season.
Here’s a few tips for locating your Maternity Ward:
Make access in & out, quick and easy
Have clear view to all areas in the pasture
Good cattle flow into corral
Restricted access to wooded areas
Small shelter inside corral for extreme weather conditions
A snapshot of our Maternity Ward
& why I’ve found this setup important:
Divided Pastures (5 Acres each) with an alley leading to the corral from both sides. (Cattle know that once inside the alley, it’s either rotation time or time to go to the corral for working. You’re also able to reduce the numbers of pastures to check.)
Water Access inside and outside the corral. (Allows flexibility to restrain animals inside the corral while others continue to drink outside. Also, the flow of traffic toward the water twice a day makes it easy to catch cattle.)
Clean pastures are important for newborns. We calve in the fall when Coastal Bermuda has gone dormant. The grass provides a clean dry environment for newborns to be born. It also makes it easy to spot newborns in the pasture. Never bush-hog or mow pastures during calving season. Newborns conceal themselves as a means of protection.
Maintain body condition on pregnant cattle. Only in the Maternity Ward, we roll out the round bales of hay. This allows access to good quality hay by all the 65 pregnant cows without pushing or shoving. This management style also concentrates manure in specific areas. When it’s time to rotate to a different pasture, we can spread the manure. Cleanliness is important for good health in the Maternity Ward.
Being able to quickly check cows during the calving season keeps you ahead of any difficult situations.
Design your Maternity Ward to be efficient & effective. A well-planned cheap corral in the right place is better than an expensive corral in the wrong place.
No matter your cattle breed,
there will be
at least 1 bad day in every cow-calf operation.
Be prepared. Make the work easier & more rewarding in Your Maternity Ward, because everyone loves a baby!
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