This Cow and Calf Care After Homestead Delivery Tips can really boost survival rate of both mother and calf, if the right steps are taken.
First, there is the need for bonding. If you have a first calf, watch it more closely. Because of possible hormone issues, confusion, and stress, the mother may be indifferent to her calf. However, her motherly instincts will start after 48 hours.
Second, keep the calf warm and dry. If possible, move your cow to a clean, sheltered place before giving birth. Older, multi-bred cows will often follow their calf, so you can move them to the chosen spot.
However, inexperienced first-time mother cows might get confused, so proceed with caution in how you move them. Next, use an iodine drip. During the birth, the umbilical cord will break off and the calf could get infected. In order to decrease that chance, make sure her surrounding is clean so you can treat the navel by dipping it in iodine.
Look at the calf for the next week for any signs of infection such as swelling, difficult breathing, and lack of appetite. Calves are born with a weak immune system, so they depend on their mother’s milk for an immune boost. It is very important that the calf gets this from there. The calf should get it within 2 hours of birth. Not only does it boost the calf’s immune system, it also gives it the nutrients, protein, vitamins, and minerals they need.
Do make sure the mother cow has fresh water it wants to drink and that the shelter gives good protection from winds and rain. Finally, keep an eye for any milk fever, a metabolic condition that is caused by a low blood-calcium level, as it can kill the mother cow.
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