3 Ways to Make Your Hereford Calving Season More Productive + a Bonus Video
#1 -Mark Your Calendar for Beginning Calving Date
Know when to prepare….. & prepare 2 weeks ahead of your calving date. Doctors call it “EXPECTING” a baby for a reason. It takes time to prepare for newborns. For twins, turn that clock up 2 weeks and you won’t be caught off guard.
When cattlemen are expecting calves, they are more likely to observe the cattle closer for small issues before they grow into bigger concerns or costly mistakes.
So find your Hereford Gestation Chart and mark your Start & End dates. If you don’t have a gestation chart, email me, [email protected]
#2 – Tattoo Calves at Birth
Tattooing & Tagging at birth has several benefits that you may have overlooked.
First, you are physically touching the calf and that gives you an assessment of overall health. A healthy newborn calf has survival instincts and will struggle to free himself.
Second, you will determine if the calf has received colostrum, the cow’s first milk, which is most efficiently absorbed within 2-4 hours of birth. The immunoglobulins in the colostrum are absolutely critical and have a profound affect on the lifetime production of the animal. Without that immunity protection, a heifer or bull falls off the list for potential replacements in the herd. Castrate it and save yourself some future trouble.
Third, if every calf is tagged, then you can easily spot the new calves. A pasture full of new babies is a beautiful picture, unless you have one newborn without a mom.
Identifying the calf and its mom is a valuable record. You know exactly which calf belongs to which cow so there’s no confusion for you or the dam. It also holds that cow accountable to take care of her baby.
First time heifers can walk away from their motherly duties if distractions break the mother-baby connection. Grouping them quickly within 24 hours will re-establish that bond & save you valuable time and money.
#3 – Visit the Maternity Ward Frequently
No, you don’t have to live there but a quick pop-in or drive by will bring peace of mind. The more you observe them, the less nervous you will be and have fewer issues.
It’s a good feeling to walk in the house and report, “ALL IS WELL ON THE FARM.” Then the kids are thinking, “Great…mom is fixing to cook dinner,” lol.
Here’s my personal experience in the KHF Maternity Ward.
I’m still in awe that I was able to capture this video and also to share it with you in a blog post.
Bonus: Video of the Hereford Cow
that Kidnapped Another Baby
I caught you in the ACT!
Yes,… it does happen in the Maternity Ward because Herefords have strong mothering instincts.
If the video needed some humor, I would call it….
“The Hereford Cow With a Backup Plan”
(in the KHF Maternity Ward)
Enjoy…from the DC Cowgirl
Did you miss an earlier blog post on Your Hereford Calves Come First Series? Click here and catch up.