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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

2019 Corn Silage Pre-Harvest Workshop - Penn Yan

September 17, 2019
10:00am to Noon
Penn Yan, NY

Corn silage harvest is drawing near. The way corn silage is harvested and stored is a single event that affects your operation for the entire next year. Are you prepared to set your operation up for success? 
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Ontario County Fun on the Farm

September 21, 2019
11:00 am- 4:00 pm
Seneca Castle, NY

Fun on the Farm works to educate non-farm public and our neighbors about agriculture around them. It is fun and educational.

Fun on the Farm attracts thousands of people and gives us the opportunity to communicate to the community the benefits of the agricultural production in Ontario County, the state, and the nation.

The event is free! There are many agricultural products that are available to be sampled. It is the perfect place to try that product you have seen in the store but didn't want to commit to purchasing.

Food is available to purchase for lunch. It is provided by a local service group.
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Bovine Reproduction and AI Training Course

September 24 - September 25, 2019
9:30am - 3:30pm
Shortsville, NY

**CLASS IS FULL**

This two-day AI workshop will be held on September 24 and 25. 

Topics covered will include:

• Reproductive Physiology
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• Heat Detection
• Artificial Insemination
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• Practice Breeding Cows

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Announcements

Preventing Sexual Harassment on Farms

If you're wondering how to get your farm business in compliance with NYS Sexual Harassment Regulations, you've come to the right place.  The 2018 New York State budget included new regulations addressing sexual harassment in the workplace that became effective on October 9, 2018 for all New York employers, including agricultural employers. All employers are required to have a sexual harassment prevention policy and to provide annual, interactive sexual harassment prevention training for all employees.  Check out the resources developed by Cornell Ag Workforce Development, including step-by-step instructions and farm-friendly training videos.


RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions

June 29, 2019

RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions
for 2019 Crop Year

In response to delayed and prevented planting resulting from above average rainfall and wetness, the USDA Risk Management Agency has made a one-time change to the 2019 crop year prevented planting rules that effectively allows silage corn, if planted as a cover crop following local agricultural expert guidelines, to be acceptable as a post-prevented planting cover crop. Under this one-time rule change, producers are allowed to produce this crop while retaining their prevented planting payment. This change couples with previously announced one-time changes to the prevented planting rules - including expanded acceptable uses for post-prevented planting cover crops and a change in the cover crop haying and grazing start date rule - serve to help those struggling to meet their forage needs due to the weather.

Read the full article from the New York Crop Insurance Education Program.

The USDA-RMA states that "For crop insurance purposes, a cover crop is a crop generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement." PRO-DAIRY specialists Joe Lawrence and Karl Czymmek and Dr. Quirine Ketterings, Professor and Director of Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program have released a letter stating "Corn on Prevented Planting acres meets these objectives."


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