Calf Care Checklist: 7 Supplies to Stock in Your Maternity Area – Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus
- Boot wash. Newborn calves are the most sensitive animals on the farm. Enter maternity areas as clean as possible. Washing boots will prevent pathogen transfer from other areas of the farm.
- Rubber gloves. Clean rubber gloves help prevent disease transfer when touching newborn calves.
- Towels. Use clean towels to dry off the calf. This will stimulate the calf, essentially doing Mom’s job. This time of year, drying the calf will help it maintain body temperature sooner as the hair will dry quicker.
- Navel dip. The preferred navel dip is 7-percent tincture iodine. Make sure the dip is applied to the navel and saturates the navel area. Clean navel dippers between each use or use disposable cups.
- Brix refractometer or colostrometer. Check colostrum before feeding to ensure high-quality colostrum is administered to the calf.
- Colostrum harvesting and feeding equipment. Have equipment designated specifically for newborn calves. This will help prevent disease transfer between calves.
- Cleaning tools. Designate brushes to clean calf equipment and nothing else. Have a brush for the esophageal tube, bottles and nipples. Keep these items in a designated place where they can dry. Watch for areas where splashes from hoses can get onto the equipment.
Starting Strong - Calf Care