During the winter it’s common to have a tougher time keeping calves active, which is necessary for them to maintain body heat. While some farms have heated calf barns, others don’t. If you’re having a tough time with a sluggish calf and thinking of giving them epinephrine, Dr. Sheila McGuirk has a quicker tip. Try caffeine.
“Caffeine can really vitalize a very dull calf,” she says, “particularly one who’s had a tough delivery or is in a cold barn.”
While caffeine can be overdosed, proper use of the stimulant can be very helpful. McGuirk recommends an initial dose of 200 mg by mouth. A 5-Hour ENERGY shot usually contains 100-200 mg of caffeine. She says calves can receive a single dose followed up with a second dose within a 24 hour period. They can receive it again in the next 24 hours, she adds.
“You can do a lot of resuscitation without drugs if you have ice water on hand,” she says. “What can help you keep calves from lying around and getting cold in the winter is caffeine.”