For a majority of beef cattle producers, it's calving season. And that means a busy time, especially with the weather challenges of the last couple of weeks.
Barton County extension agent Rick Snell advises cattlemen to be prepared for doing some intense management, including making preparations to deal with adversities and difficult births.
Among his tips:
Have a clean paddock, shed or pasture which cattle have not used for 12 months as a calving area.
Be sure you have clean straw or sand for bedding if pasture grass is not an option.
Make provisions to keep calves dry. If you have access to a shed or barn, heat lamps are a good idea.
Separate pregnant calves from cows with calves.
Make sure you have iodine on hand to disinfect the navels.
Call your vet if you have problems. Signs of trouble: only the calf's tail is visible, on ly the head is visible, front feet protrude past the knees but the nose can't be located, the head and one foot are visible, more than two feet are visible.
Call for help if the cow has been in labor for two hours with no sign of progress.
If you want to brush up on your calving knowledge, Snell has video tapes that can be checked out.