Calving season coming soon; get tips on cutting losses

Calving season coming soon; get tips on cutting losses

Timely, correct obstetrical help at calving timecan reduce calf losses by half according to K-State scientists

When it comes to calving, timely assistance can cut calf death losses by half and help boost the cow’s reproductive health after delivery, according to a Kansas State University animal scientist.

"Tiimely, correct obstetrical assistance has been estimated to reduce calf death losses by over 50 percent,” said Sandy Johnson, K-State Research and Extension livestock specialist. “Prolonged duration of labor or late calving assistance delays the cow’s return to estrus after calving and decreases subsequent pregnancy rates.”

The topic is the focus of 11 calving schools to be hosted in different locations around the state during December and January.

SAVING MORE: Seminar will offer ranchers tips on saving more baby calves.

“Producers can do several things to minimize potential losses related to calving,” Johnson said. “Adequate nutrition for the cow and developing fetus before calving is the foundation.  Timely and correct obstetrical assistance when needed increases calf survival and speeds the cow’s ability to rebreed.”

Veterinarian Dave Rethorst, director of outreach with Kansas State’s Beef Cattle Institute, will give the keynote address at each school, including a review of the normal calving process, how and when to intervene, and how to manage a difficult birth. Cow nutrition and real life examples of the effect of nutrition during pregnancy on calving management, as well as the lifetime health and performance of the calf, will be part of the program.

A meal will be served at each calving school. More information about dates, times, locations, and how to register for a particular calving school is available at www.KSUbeef.org or by calling Johnson at 785-462-6281. Registration for the December schools is requested by Dec. 2, and for January schools by Jan. 2, to ensure a meal. Nominal charges vary by location.
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