Calf Care Quick Tip: Using Body Tapes
Posted on November 9, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Neil Michael, Vita Plus director of dairy initiatives
Do you use a body tape to monitor calves’ body condition? Here are a few guidelines for using the tool to accurately monitor calf performance:
- Use a body tape intended specifically for calves to ensure accurate weights.
- Weigh five to 10 newborn calves to compare to tape readings. This gives you a benchmark to use moving forward.
- The same person should consistently perform body taping to avoid user differences.
- Weigh calves at birth, three weeks and weaning to compare to published growth charts and benchmarked average daily gain.
- Repeat tapings on groups of animals three to four times per year to detect seasonal or nutritional opportunities.
- Put your hands on the calves and palpate in addition to taping to get a better picture of how calves are progressing.