4 Steps to Safely Move Transition Calves
Moving transition calves can be a daunting task. They are big, comfortable in their current environment, and often “finding their feet and legs” for the first time. The right tools will make the job much easier and safer for everyone involved.
- The cart, basket or trailer you use should be easy for the animals to get on and off. These calves cannot handle big steps yet.
- Keep the environment calm and quiet. Be conscious of noise that may spook the animals.
- Be aware of new surfaces. Add bedding or other texture to prevent animals from slipping when moving.
- Choose equipment that’s easy to clean and sanitize. In some cases, this may be the same equipment you use to move newborns. It is very important to be able to get it clean between uses.
Here are a few helpful hints once the calves are moved:
- Help calves up and down any curbs for the first couple days.
- Put a small amount of bedding in the scrape alley to help calves on and off the curb. This will also help cushion their feet until they are used to the new surfaces.
- If they struggle to find feed, put a temporary bunk in the pen.
- Make sure they find the water as well. A water tub can help until they figure out their surroundings and find the automatic waterers.
Starting Strong - Calf Care
Transition and reproduction