Apr 24, 2014
Home| Tools| Events| Blogs| Discussions| Sign UpLogin

Dealing with Hypothermia in Newborn Calves

March 19, 2013
Copy of Bledsoe Dairy calves drugs 9 09 003
  
 
 

Feeding the hypothermic calf warm colostrum as soon as possible helps speed recovery while warming the calf from the inside out.

Source: Dairy Calf & Heifer Association

According to 2007 National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) findings, the average mortality of pre-weaned calves on farms during 2006 was 7.8%. Pre-weaned death may result from respiratory infections or diarrhea. These infections may initiate from dystocia and even poor environmental conditions at birth.

During the colder seasons, dystocia (difficult births) and hypothermia (cold stress) are the primary reasons for death in calves.

Types of hypothermia:

1. Exposure (gradual) Hypothermia: This form of hypothermia consists of a steady loss of body heat in a cold environment through respiration, evaporation and lack of suitable hair coat, body flesh or weather protection.
2. Immersion (acute) Hypothermia: This form of hypothermia is most common after birth and occurs when there is a rapid loss of body heat due to a wet, saturated coat in a cold environment. Added causes for acute hypothermia may include being born in snowy conditions or on wet ground and if a calf is drenched from heavy rain in cold environments.

Levels of hypothermia:
• Mild hypothermia occurs when the core temperature falls below normal, which is approximately 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit for dairy calves.
• Severe hypothermia occurs when temperatures fall below 64 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, their vital organs begin to get cold and signs of life may be difficult to detect.

Detecting and dealing with hypothermia:
• Calves may not always appear to be hypothermic; therefore, taking the body calf's temperature will assist in determining the level or degree of hypothermia.
• Return calf's core temperature to normal. Use dry towels and calf blankets to dry off the calf.
• Feeding the hypothermic calf warm colostrum as soon as possible aids in speeding up the recovery, while warming the calf from the inside out.
• Return calf to its normal setting after it is fully dried off and has regained normal body temperature.

See Comments


 
Log In or Sign Up to comment

COMMENTS

No comments have been posted



Name:

Comments:

Receive the latest news, information and commentary customized for you. Sign up to receive Beef Today's Cattle Drive today!. Interested in the latest prices for cattle in your area? See highlights of the latest for-sale cattle in the Cattle-Exchange eNewsletter.

 
 
The Home Page of Agriculture
© 2014 Farm Journal, Inc. All Rights Reserved|Web site design and development by AmericanEagle.com|Site Map|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions