Care and management of Calf

Sufficient amount of feeding and care must be provided for better development of the calves , useful for replacement stock.Feeding and care of the calf begins before its birth .The barn should be dried 6-8 weeks prior expected calving and pregnant cattles should be fed well since under fed animals will give weak and small calves who are susceptible to many diseases.

Initial Care & Management :

One month old calf
  • Any type of mucus must be removed from mouth or nose just after the calves are born.Usually cows lick their babies or calves just after giving till dry which further helps to start the circulation of blood and also air that is breathing  but during cold weather the cows are unable to lick their calves dry so towel or dry cloth or gunny bags are used . Doing this provides the calf with the necessary warmth and also gently pressing the chest with hand provides artificial respiration .

  • The umbilical cord attached to the  naval must be cut two to three centimeters away from the calf’s body and cut should be made one centimeter below the ligature and apply any type of antibiotic or boric acid and also can apply Tr.Iodine ,etc

  • The pens should be kept dry, warm and clean mostly everyday. Monitoring and recording the cow’s weight and height is a great practice.

  • The mother cows teats and udder must we washed till dry using chlorine solution to maintain aseptic condition for the calf. Before milking first let the calf drink the first milk .

  • Mostly all calves stand after an hour of their birth if they don’t then the calves are weak and must to nursed properly till they recover properly. 

Feeding of Calves:

Five day old calf with heer mother

1.      Feed should always be provided at least twice daily if a calf is particularly weak then freed it trice in a day and also make sure the milk is warmed to match the calf’s body temperature . It is better not to give the calf whole milk for the first three days after that calves should be practiced to have the milk either from buckets or feeding pits.

2.      For the first three days feed the calf only with colostrums i.e the first milk of the cow after giving birth. Colostrums contains higher concentration of  vitamin B and essential protein . It has a thick and course texture . The function of the protein is providing resistance against diseases and are called as immuno globins.

3.      Every calf should at least be provided with milk to consume which is ten percent of the cows own body weight amounting upto five or six litres of milk daily.

4.      Start giving calf starter after one month of age. For the next four months calves should be given best quality green fodder and hay. 

5.      Feeding antibiotics as of aureomycin, Terramycin, etc to improve appetite along with growth rate and also prevents the calf from collective calf scouring diseases.


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