A Producer’s Perspective: Beef Calving Essentials

Black beef cow with black newborn calf laying on straw

Calving season is here. As you prepare for your calves to hit the ground and become the next generation of your beef herd, you need to ensure you have the tools on hand for a successful calving. Here’s what Justin Hergenreder, Colorado beef producer and GENEX Director of Beef Sales, suggests as the beef calving essentials for every rancher’s calving toolbox.

Your beef calving kit essentials:

1. Your phone with your vet’s phone number on speed dial. If, for some reason, your vet is unable to assist, make sure you’re prepared with the following items.*

2. Halter and rope to restrain the cow and ensure her safety – and yours.

3.  Clean OB chains and handles and a calf puller to help pull the calf, if necessary.

4. Flashlight with fresh batteries, or better yet, a hands-free headlamp, because we know darn well that cows don’t care what time it is and will inevitably give birth in the middle of the night.

5. A toolbox to hold and carry these calving essentials:

  • Disposable long-sleeve obstetrical gloves to keep the cow sterile and reduce the chance of infection.
  • Speaking of sterile, be sure to have rags, a bucket or squeeze bottle for wash water, and chlorhexidine to wash and disinfect the cow.
  • Obstetrical lubricant to help the birthing process if the cow isn’t dilated enough.
  • Vet-prescribed items to aid in labor, delivery and lactation. It is imperative you talk to your vet to see what they recommend for your herd.*
  • Suction bulb to suction fluid from the newborn calf’s nostrils.
  • Iodine to disinfect the navel stump of newborn calves.
  • Two thermometers – one for sick calves and one for checking newborn or young calves that get hypothermic.
  • Multimin® 90, as prescribed by your vet, to provide mineral supplementation to the calf.*

6. Calf sled or cart to bring the newborn calf in from the field to the barn.

7. Foundation™ 150 colostrum replacer & supplement to quickly and conveniently provide your calf with high-quality whole bovine colostrum.

8. Last but not least, Push™ calf energy paste to help jumpstart the calf and get it on its feet quickly, especially if the calf was born in harsh weather conditions, seems lethargic, isn’t consuming colostrum or was born via hard pull or c-section.

Black beef cow and wet calf

Optional: Beverage of choice to celebrate the hardworking mama, the newest member of your herd, and your diligence in assisting another successful calving.

Your GENEX team wishes you the best this calving season.

Remember, your GENEX rep is just a phone call away and can help ensure you have those important beef calving essentials – Foundation™ 150  colostrum and Push™ calf energy paste – on hand when you need it!

* The items listed are suggestions. Consult with your veterinarian to determine what works best for your herd.

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