A veterinarian is reminding producers being prepared is a key to calving success.

Professor at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Claire Windeyer, says it’s important to have a plan to make sure every calf gets colostrum.

“This might mean milking out the cow and bottle or tube feeding the calf, or having stored frozen colostrum or colostrum replacement products available to feed. Dairy colostrum doesn’t have even close to the same amount of antibodies in it compared to beef colostrum, not to mention the biosecurity risk it poses, so it should be avoided.”

The Beef Cattle Research Council says frozen colostrum should be thawed slowly in warm water, and never microwaved or refrozen.

Windeyer says hygiene should also be top of mind for producers using a calving barn.

She explains this involves ensuring there is clean straw bedding, manure is being cleaned up and moving healthy pairs out as quickly as possible to help reduce how much new born calves are exposed to.

She adds, it’s also a good idea to have a separate space for sick or scouring calves, so the barn is not contaminated.

For more calving tips, you can visit the Beef Cattle Research Council website at www.beefresearch.ca.

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