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Calf Care for Variable Months

Libby Eiholzer, Bilingual Dairy
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: June 10, 2013
Calf Care for Variable Months

Fall has arrived, and with it a tricky time of year for calves. Though the weather is getting progressively colder, temperatures can fluctuate from one week to the next and especially from morning to night. On a 70°F day, it can be easy to forget the possibility that the temperature could dip low enough to make young calves suffer overnight.

For calves younger than three weeks of age, the thermoneutral temperature is about 50-80°F. This means that in that temperature range the heat produced by the calf's body is enough to make up for the heat that she loses. When the temperature gets below 50°F, she has to burn extra energy to make up for the heat that she's losing, so her maintenance cost goes up. The more energy used for maintenance, the less energy available for growth and immune function. And since calves are born with very little body fat, they don't have much extra energy to burn off before they actually start to starve!

So what can you do to keep calves healthy this fall? First and foremost, keep them warm and dry. Get newborn calves dry as quickly as possible, and provide them with adequate dry bedding. Putting calf jackets on the smallest calves can help prevent heat loss as well. A calf keeps warm with a jacket on a chilly fall day. La becerra no siente el frio de un día otoñal con su chaqueta.

Don't forget cleanliness! When calves are too cold, they are more apt to get sick. Dip calves' navels with iodine, separate them from adult cows as quickly as possible after birth and keep cow manure away from them. Rinse milk pails and bottles with lukewarm water, and then wash them thoroughly with hot soapy water. Always provide plenty of clean, fresh grain and water.

El Cuidado de los Becerros Durante Unos Meses Variables
Ya llegó el otoño, lo que es un tiempo difícil para los becerros. Aunque la temperatura está bajando progresivamente, las temperaturas pueden cambiar mucho de una semana a la otra y especialmente de la mañana a la noche. Durante un día de 70°F (21°C), se puede olvidar fácilmente de que la temperatura podría bajar bastante para que los becerros chiquitos sufran por la noche.

Para los becerros menos de tres semanas de edad, la zona termoneutral es 50-80°F (10°-27°C). Eso quiere decir que entre estas temperaturas, el calor producido por el cuerpo del becerro es bastante para compensar el calor que pierde. Cuando la temperatura baja a menos que 50°F (10°C), el becerro requiere energía extra para recuperar el calor que pierde, así que el costo de mantener su temperatura corporal sube. Al gastar más energía para mantenerse, hay menos energía para crecer y para protegerse de las enfermedades. Como los becerros nacen sin mucha grasa corporal, no tienen mucha energía extra para gastar antes de empezar a sufrir de la malnutrición.
 
¿Qué puede hacer usted para que estén sanos sus becerros este otoño? Para empezar, deben estar siempre secos y nunca deben tener frio. Hay que secar los becerros recién nacidos lo más pronto que sea posible y darlos bastante cama seca. Ponerlos chaquetas a los becerros más chiquitos también puede prevenir la pérdida de calor corporal.

¡No se les olviden la limpieza! Cuando los becerros tienen frio, es más posible que se enferman. Moje los ombligos de los becerros con yodo, sepárelos de las vacas adultas lo más pronto que sea posible después del parto y no dejen que tengan contacto con el estiércol de las vacas adultas. Enjuague las cubetas y botellas de leche con agua tibia, y después lávelas con agua caliente y jabón. Siempre deben tener bastante agua y grano fresco y limpio.

Calf Care El Cuidado de los Becerros
Dip the calf’s navel Moje el ombligo del becerro
Separate the calf from the cow quickly Quite el becerro de la vaca rápidamente
Put a jacket on the calf Ponga una chaqueta al becerro
Put dry sawdust/straw in the pen Ponga aserrín/paja seca al corral
First rinse the milk pails with lukewarm water Primero, enjuague las cubetas de leche con agua tibia
Then wash the pails with hot water and soap Después, lave las cubetas con agua caliente y jabón

 





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Upcoming Events

English Heat Stress Webinar: Key Indicators and Management Strategies

July 21, 2020
12:30 pm

Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY, the NWNY Team and the SWNY Team are offering a webinar on Heat Stress: Key Indicators & Management Strategies in both English and Spanish. The same information will be shared during both webinars. Each webinar is free and registration is not required.  Join Zoom webinar here.

Heat Stress: Key Indicators and Management Strategies
July 21, 2020 at 12:30 PM
Margaret Quaassdorff & Alycia Drwencke, Dairy Management Specialists
Learn about the negative repercussions of heat stress in dairy cows and calves along with ways to prevent and mitigate it.

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Spanish Heat Stress Webinar: Key Indicators and Management Strategies

July 22, 2020
12:30 pm

Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY, the NWNY Team and the SWNY Team are offering a webinar on Heat Stress: Key Indicators & Management Strategies in both English and Spanish. The same information will be shared during both webinars. Each webinar is free and registration is not required.  Join Zoom webinar here.

Heat Stress: Key Indicators and Management Strategies
July 22, 2020 at 12:30 PM
Libby Eiholzer, Bilingual Dairy Specialist
Learn about the negative repercussions of heat stress in dairy cows and calves along with ways to prevent and mitigate it.

Estr?s por Calor en Vacas Lecheras: Se?ales Claves y Estrategias de Manejo
22 de julio del 2020 a las12:30 PM
Libby Eiholzer, Especialista en Vacas Lecheras 
Aprender?n sobre las repercusiones negativas del estr?s por calor en vacas lecheras y becerros, adem?s de maneras de prevenir y mitigarlo.  Participe en el webinar aqu?.

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Corn Congress - Batavia Location

Event Offers DEC Credits

January 6, 2021
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Batavia, NY

Please join the NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crop Team for our annual Corn Congress.  DEC re-certification points and Certified Crop Adviser credits available, so bring your picture ID.  Lunch is included.  Hear from program-related professionals and visit with our sponsoring vendors.  
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Announcements

Dialing Into Your Best Dairy - * New Podcast Series *

Dialing Into Your Best Dairy
A Podcast Series​
Hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension Regional Dairy Specialists and Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY

Episodes in this series will discuss management practices and tips to reach your herd's full genetic potential. In 8 episodes, PRO-DAIRY and CCE Dairy Specialists will discuss the different life stages of the dairy cow, including raising calves through the milk phase and weaning; managing weaned heifers up to freshening; making decisions about which replacements to keep including talking about inventory, disease prevention, and culling decisions; feeding and nutrition management during lactation; facilities, time management, and ventilation considerations throughout lactation; and management factors around reproduction, gestation, and the dry period.

COVID-19 Forward NY Safety Plans Required and Reduce Risk

Essential agricultural businesses including those who have remained open during the current pandemic need to have a Forward NY Safety Plan in place. The plan outlines how your business is going to keep employees and customers safe as New York re-opens for business. Each plan must include 3 key elements:
  • People: that's your family, employees, customers, delivery people and consultants who interact at your business and the way your business will help to maintain social distance among those people.
  • Place: addresses the environment in which you do business, share tools and equipment, receive supplies, and make sales of your product. This section deals with protective equipment, cleaning and hygiene, and communication of how your business plans reduce the chances of spreading the virus among people.
  • Process: focuses on mandatory health screening, contact tracing and disinfection. How will you screen employees to reduce the chances of sick people entering the work place? Your plan for contact tracing explains how your business will gather required information about everyone who visits your business. This list would be used by local health authorities to trace all contacts if someone at your business were to be confirmed positive for COVID-19. Your process also defines how you will disinfect contaminated areas should someone who has been in direct contact with your business test positive for the virus.
A Team of Extension Professionals from across New York have developed resources to help your farm business meet this mandate and reduce the risk to your business for failure to protect your people. The resources can be accessed at the Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development website: https://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/ny-forward-business-safety-plan/. They include: an introductory video, fillable templates for using to write plans based upon the NYS Forward NY Safety Plan Template, color coded examples and considerations to follow while completing the template, a step by step guide to accessing and using the template documents and information about webinars and recording of the same for producers with different types of businesses.    


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