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Even at an early age, Cheryl Day was a passionate and practical advocate for agriculture. Check out her viewpoint on current agricultural topics.
This week our farm was blessed with brand new baby calf. Nothing can get two kids out of bed bright and early on a Saturday morning then announcing we have a new addition. This year, we are only half way through the calving season and continue the process of managing the on farm maternity ward. Bringing a live calf in the world is a gamble much like bringing in a newborn child.
As soon as the mother has brought the calf into the world, we spring into action and begin our normal newborn regimen. After mother has cleaned her calf, we immediately treat the umbilical cord with iodine in order to disinfect and protect in from attracting foreign bacteria. In addition, we clean and dry the calf off. Wet and cold calves are more prone to cold stress and sickness. At this point, we make sure the cow and calf is placed in their own clean and freshly bedded pen to assure the calf’s natural instinct kicks in and nurses the Colostrum milk of its mother. Colostrum contains immunoglobulin(s) that provides the first source of energy and builds the newborn’s immunity. Since it is essential for the newborn to absorb the immunoglobulin within the first 2-4 hours of life, we go on our way and give mom and calf some much needed (alone) bonding time.
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