It’s that time of year when calving is in full swing for a spring calving herd. Generally the majority of cows calve quickly and easily without assistance, and a good stockman knows precisely when additional help is needed.
However experience is only learnt with time, and if assistance is done too early, there is a risk that the cervix and vagina may not be fully dilated, which risks severe trauma to the cow. Therefore there are a few useful recommendations that may help define when calving assistance is required;
At some point every dairy farmer experiences a season where there is an abnormal number of assisted calvings, for one reason and another. In addition to abnormal positions of the calf, the factors which can lead to an increased incident of difficult births are:
Whilst calving time is hectic and the management of the day to day chores is time consuming, taking a small amount of time to record any animal which has had a difficult calving can provide vital information which can help identify trends and causes of such problems, as well as provide timely reminders to follow-up these animals.
Smart Farm Apps – Pro Dairy Event app can be used to make note of any such animal to aid in following-up these animals prior to mating.
This is important due to the increased risk of infection in the reproductive tract associated with an assisted calving and its potential impact on the herd’s reproductive performance if not dealt with accordingly.