Calving Technique On Large Farms And Small Farms

Calving Technique On Large Farms And Small Farms
Calving Technique On Large Farms And Small Farms

Video: Calving Technique On Large Farms And Small Farms

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Video: Calf Management at Meadow Brook Dairy Farms 2023, January

Calving is one of the main technological processes in cattle breeding, which largely determines the efficiency of milk production, both in large industrial-type farms and on small farms. The physiological state of animals depends on it, then they turn into a highly productive dairy herd, as well as the health of the calf, the value of which is very high in modern dairy cattle breeding. With the calving of cows, the technological cycle of milk production begins, which is then divided into milk production (first 100 days of lactation), height (second 100 days of lactation), decline (third 100 days of lactation) and dry period (45-60 days).


Calving on large dairy farms

A heifer or a pregnant cow is transferred from the prenatal section of the milk production facilities to the birthing section when the first signs of calving appear. During this period, animals should not be exposed to stress, the attitude of the service personnel should be calm and friendly. Calving takes place in the birthing section of the maternity ward (workshop) of the complex. At the same time, the isolation of the cow in stalls measuring 3 × 3 m creates comfortable conditions for calving and receiving newborn calves. It must be remembered that loud movement of various machines and mechanisms in an industrial-type room can lead to adverse consequences for an animal that is already in a stressful state during calving.

The maternity ward of large dairy farms is divided into prenatal, prenatal and delivery sections with stalls. The room here should be light, dry, and also have good ventilation and exclude the possibility of drafts. Here, the increased content of carbon dioxide, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide in the air is absolutely unacceptable. Straw is used as a bedding for the floor in this type of room. The use of sawdust or peat is prohibited because small particles can be inhaled by the cow and calf during calving. Subsequently, this becomes the cause of respiratory diseases of animals, as well as a variety of infections, which quickly pass to all livestock livestock with its high concentration in small areas. In this case, straw compares favorably with sawdust and peat in that it holds the structure well when physically exposed to it.

Each maternity ward of a milk production enterprise must be provided with a set of tools and medicines: obstetric rope (braid), eye hooks, an obstetric crochet, an extractor, clean towels, potassium permanganate (or other antiseptic), 5% alcohol solution of iodine, other veterinary drugs …

It is important to ensure that the size of the calving sections and the density of the animals in such sections do not restrict the movement of the adult and young stock. After separation of the placenta, the calving cows are transferred to the postpartum section or isolation ward. In 10-15 days after calving (in the absence of serious pathologies of the mammary gland), the animals enter the milk production department. The calving process in such industrial enterprises, like other production processes, must be fast and smooth. This is imperative in order to comply with the cyclical nature of production and the planned movement of animals from one production group to another.

After each calving, it is imperative to thoroughly clean the birthing section of the maternity ward, disinfect and replace the bedding material. The veterinarian of the complex and the operator of the maternity ward are responsible for calving the animals at the complex.In the case of a normal course of childbirth, even at large enterprises for the production of milk, they try not to provide assistance to the cow. This approach stimulates the rapid restoration of the physiological state of the animal and a sharp reduction in pathological cases.

However, in case of a difficult calving of cows, obstetric assistance is necessary. At the same time, a minimum number of people should be present so as not to increase the stress caused by the birth process. With the normal position of the fetus, help should be provided: with weak attempts of the cow; if the amniotic fluid has departed, but the calf does not come out. In this case, it is forbidden to touch the birth canal of the cow and calf without first treating the hands with disinfectant solution and wearing disposable gloves. Before helping the cow, it is necessary to spread clean straw, wash her croup and external genitals with warm water and soap and also treat with an antiseptic.

Obstetric care must be carried out taking into account the peculiarities of the anatomy of the birth canal of cows. The most difficult areas here are the cervix, vulva and bony base of the pelvis. The most difficult thing for the fetus is the head, shoulder girdle and pelvis. Incorrect positions of the position of the calf are corrected only in the uterus. To do this, the calf is pushed into the uterine cavity by placing obstetric ropes on all the presenting parts of the fetus. When the birth canal is dry, sterile petroleum jelly or vegetable oil is used to facilitate such repulsion. It must be remembered here that it is possible to correct the position of the fetus only during a pause between contractions. They extract it precisely during contractions and attempts by forces of no more than 3-4 people. The obstetric tools are resorted to as a last resort. Initially (as far as possible and efficiently) they work only with the hand and obstetric ropes. The calf is gently pulled over the head and front legs, applying a rope or braid over them. In the case of a posterior position of the fetus, the loop is placed on the hind legs and pulled down during the natural pushing of the cow.

The calf leaving the birth canal must be kept in weight. This avoids bruising when it falls. First, the front legs appear, soles down, and the head of the calf rests on them. Can be normal and breech presentation of the fetus. Next, the operator of the maternity ward of the calving workshop organizes the transfer of the calf to a clean plastic wrap and assesses its viability.

Calving in farms

In farms, in contrast to large enterprises for the production of milk, often everything falls on the shoulders of one or two people. Therefore, here it is necessary to closely monitor the appearance of the first signs of calving, and then accompany it with the utmost care. For example, in the summer, a cow in a pasture can separate from the herd, find a secluded place (ravines, bushes) and calve there. Such undesirable situations (especially at night) must be kept under special control.

Cows become pregnant for 280-285 days. At the same time, fluctuations from +1 to 23 days are possible. In this way, the calving date can be determined in advance, for which the table below is used. However, here it is also necessary to take into account that the period of embryonic development of heifers can be 3-5 days shorter than that of gobies. Apparently, this is due to a 6-8 kg less live weight at birth.

In small farms, as well as in large enterprises for the production of milk, it is also mandatory to prepare cows for calving. Organize stalls and replace indoor litter with fresh and clean straw cutting. They whitewash the feeder, walls and ceiling with quicklime, and prepare a veterinary first-aid kit and a lantern.

The farmer needs to remember and be able to identify the signs that precede the calving of the cow: swelling of the genitals, drooping of a mucous cord from them, an increase in the size of the udder and the appearance of colostrum in it, sagging of the abdomen, sinking of the gap from the root of the tail to the ischial tubercles. It should be noted that the ligaments on the sides of the tail root relax, resulting in a soft feel.

After the sanitization, the farmer (2-3 hours before the calving of the cow) transfers it to a previously prepared stall.Here at the ready should be a clean burlap for accepting a calf, a towel, soap, a solution of iodine or potassium permanganate.

A sure sign of approaching calving is a deterioration in the appetite of cows, especially heifers. The farmer should pay attention to the fact that the hay remains in the trough in the evening, the cow becomes timid and shudders when approaching her, tensely moves her ears and steps over her hind legs, hums and looks back at her belly. In the stall, the cow is kept loose, which allows her to feel comfortable, independently choose a comfortable position at the hotel. In addition, one should not forget about the maternal instinct of the animal, which it should be able to manifest.

As a rule, the cow calves lying down, sometimes during childbirth she gets up. In such cases, the animal should be reassured and forced to lie on its left side. Calving occurs with gradually increasing attempts. During the attempts of the cow, a bubble comes out, and amniotic fluid leaves through the rupture in it. When the calf is in the correct position, the calving process proceeds safely and without assistance. Usually the bubble bursts on its own. However, if this did not happen, the farmer must tear it apart. Otherwise, the calf may drown in amniotic fluid.

Calving takes about 30-60 minutes. At the same time, if the cow did not receive exercise in the fresh air (or this is the first calving of the animal), then this process can take up to 5-6 hours. In this case, the animal needs help. A rope is placed on both legs of the fruit that appear outward, and, during pushing, they pull it in the direction - towards themselves and slightly downward.

Mucus from the nostrils, mouth and ears of the calf is removed with a towel moistened with 2% boric acid solution. If the umbilical cord did not break itself, then it should be cut off at a distance of 10-12 cm from the calf's abdomen with clean scissors disinfected in a carbolic solution. In this case, the end of the umbilical cord is immersed in a solution of iodine or potassium permanganate.

After calving, the cow is given the opportunity to lick the calf. On the one hand, this provides a massage of his skin and stimulation of blood circulation, which is very important in the first minutes of life. On the other hand, the separation of the cow's placenta, which is subject to mandatory disposal, is facilitated. Licking by the cow makes breathing easier for the calf. It is also important that the cow swallows sex hormones in mucus and amniotic fluid, significantly stimulates lactation and accelerates ovulation processes, and also activates metabolism in her own body. In order for the cow to lick the calf evenly, it is necessary to turn it over in time.

30 minutes after calving, the cow should be given warm salted water (10-15 liters with a temperature of 25-30 ° C). This is done to quench the animal's thirst, as well as to stimulate its appetite and prevent the retention of the placenta. Next, the cow is given plenty of high-quality hay and a small amount of oatmeal (0.5-1.5 kg) in the form of a chatterbox. Root crops are introduced into the daily ration of a cow on the fourth day after calving, starting from 3-4 kg. Silage of high quality begins to be fed to the animal on the 5-7th day after calving in the same amount.

A new cow should not be fed abundantly from the first day after calving. This can negatively affect her appetite, as well as seriously disrupt the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, inflammation of the udder is possible, which, of course, will negatively affect the level of milk production.

The fact is that after the release of the fetus, voids are formed in the abdominal and pelvic cavities of the animal, relieving the tension of the adjacent blood vessels. As a result, the body's blood pressure drops, and the flow of blood into the udder increases sharply. At the same time, the lymphatic and venous systems are rebuilt to new conditions of functioning for a long time and for some time they cannot provide an adequate outflow of fluids.As a result, the udder is first filled with blood, and then with the products of infiltration of low-protein blood. If such tension is observed within 2-3 days, then the level of feeding must be reduced until the complete exclusion of concentrates and restriction of drinking, as well as continuously (5-6 times a day) to donate milk.

The farmer should pay special attention to the preparation for calving heifers. In order for the first-calf to show high productivity, it must be prepared for this. Regular daily udder massage should be carried out from 4.5-5 months of pregnancy. This should be done carefully and without rough touching, without frightening the animal. In this case, you can wash the udder with warm water or wipe it off with a towel, but only in a warm room. This should not be done in a cold barn. Such massage and washing of the udder is stopped 14-20 days before calving, and starts again when the mammary gland of the animal returns to normal.

The afterbirth (fetal membranes) in cows is separated soon after the birth of the calf, about 2-4 hours, maximum - 8-12 hours. The detention of the placenta is a serious reason for contacting a veterinary worker. There can be many reasons for such detention. Most often, the main reason is poor and inadequate feeding during pregnancy: a lack of vitamins, macro- and microelements in the diet. Therefore, in the diets of pregnant animals, an appropriate premix must be present, the composition of which is determined by the lack of the above components in the feed set. The retention of the placenta can also be the reason for the lack of regular exercise of the cows. The fact is that due to the constant immobility of the animal, the walls of the uterus become flabby, as a result of which they contract poorly or not at all. The reason for the delay in the placenta can also be a strong stretching of the uterus with twins, an overdeveloped fetus, inflammation of the uterus during pregnancy.

Postpartum paresis (milk fever) is a frequent occurrence in dairy cattle breeding (especially in highly productive ones). It occurs approximately 12-72 hours after calving. At the initial stage of development, this disease is accompanied by the cessation of ruminant in the animal. The cow shows anxiety, shifts from foot to foot and trembles. Then she falls, her head is thrown back to the side, her legs are stretched convulsively. Further, the body temperature drops to 35 ° C, the skin and ears become cold. In the absence of qualified assistance to an animal from the veterinary service, its death may occur within 12-48 hours.

The reaction of a calf after birth to a sound stimulus (clap of hands) can be a sign of its vitality. In this case, the calf should raise its head. Such a positive reaction within 10 minutes is a sign of a high level of vitality. 30-40 minutes after birth, the calf rises to its feet. He should also have a wet nasal speculum, optimal respiratory rate, pale pink mucous membranes, normal body temperature and pulse.

Before feeding the calf colostrum, it is imperative to ensure that it is of high quality. Colostrum color, consistency, presence of blood pigment, clots or foul odor are determined. If the indicated vices | blemish | colostrum is not present, it has a creamy yellow color and a uniform consistency. The calf is admitted to the first suckling of a cow in the farm 20-30 minutes after birth and they help him find the udder nipple.

Usually the cow is in the stall with the calf for 8-12 hours. At this time, the calf performs 4-6 (sometimes up to 12) short suckings. A newborn calf is fed, as a rule, 1-1.5 liters of fresh warm colostrum or allowed to suckle the mother for 30-50 minutes.

The approximate rate of colostrum per calf for the first day is 4 liters, for the second - 6 liters.Boiled water with a temperature of 36 ºС begins to give a calf from the 4th day of life in the intervals between morning and evening drinks. About 20 minutes after ingestion of colostrum or milk, the calves become thirsty. Therefore, in the intensive technology of rearing calves, it is envisaged to water the calves after feeding with colostrum (milk): after 1.5 hours in warm weather and 2 hours in cold weather. Up to 10-15 days of age, they give 0.5-1.0 liters of warm water with a temperature of 25-30 0С daily, after 15 days of age - 1-2 liters of water with a temperature of 15-20 ºС.

After the first 4-5 days of life, the calf is taught to consume hay and feed. To do this, a bunch of benign (with small leaves) soft hay is tied or laid in a feeder at the level of the animal's head so that the calf can freely consume this feed. This technique ensures the development of the proventricles, their colonization with symbiotic microflora and the appearance of chewing gum at 10-15 days of age. This contributes to the intensive consumption and use of nutrients by animals of roughage and succulent feed at an older age. Calves are accustomed to feeding dried grass in summer no earlier than 25-30 days of life. Silage, haylage, beets, carrots are fed to calves from 35-40 days of age.

At the same time, there is another opinion on this issue. In particular, it is proposed to feed hay (even of high quality) to calves much later. From this point of view, it is believed that concentrated feed, in particular, corn grain, is more conducive to the intensive development of microflora in the rumen of calves during the dairy period. In this case, from the 4th day of life, young animals should have free access to whole grain corn and starter compound feed in a ratio of 50:50. Such a concentrate should contain at least 18% of crude protein and at least 12.8 MJ of metabolic energy, up to 15% of crude fat and up to 10% of crude fiber in 1 kg of dry matter. The opinions of experts on this issue often differ, but the earlier the calves start consuming concentrated feed, the more intensive the development of the proventriculus, as well as the growth of villi in the rumen, will be.


In modern highly productive dairy cattle breeding, regardless of the size of the farm and the form of its ownership, the issue of calving cows and their physiological state should be given as much attention as possible.

It should be remembered that weak muscle tone (contractions) in cows subsequently leads to a loss of approximately 0.5-2.3 kg of milk per day. Postpartum paresis also reduces the daily milk production of the cow by 1.1-2.9 kg, the retention of the placenta - by 0.5-2.3 kg, and the displacement of the abomasum - by 0.8-2.5 kg. Such losses in milk production of cows can be completely avoided using the above technological principles of calving.

(The material was prepared by the experts of the MATRITSA company).

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