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Newborn Calf Care Management - English and Spanish


May 5, 2022 - <>,

The first hours of life are important to a newborn dairy calf's health. Using proper management techniques immediately following birth can positively impact the calf for a lifetime. In this phase, failure in management and procedures can lead to increased incidence of diseases, decreased growth rate and increased mortality rates.

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1. Dip the navel in a 7% tincture iodine solution immediately after birth.

  • Re-dipping may be necessary! Consider doing along with second colostrum feeding
  • 2% Chlorhexidine is considered an alternative antiseptic for navel dip.
  • Monitor navel for excessive bleeding, pain, abnormal swelling, odor, or pus, and treat as recommended by the herd's veterinarian

2. Remove the calf from the cow and maternity area right away.

  • After 60-90 min, the calf will start standing and try to nurse, licking the contaminated surfaces, increasing the risk of picking up infections. 
  • Especially important in herds where Johne’s disease is present.

3. Feed high-quality (BRIX > 22) colostrum (10% BW) within the first 6 hours after birth.

  • If a calf cannot suckle from a bottle to consume enough colostrum, then an esophageal tube feeder should be used.
  • A second colostrum feeding should be considered 6 to 12 hours after birth.

Cuidados de becerros recién nacidos

1. Sumerja el cordón umbilical u ombligo en una solución de tintura de yodo al 7% inmediatamente después del nacimiento.

  • ¡Puede ser necesario repetir! Considere hacerlo en el momento de la segunda alimentación con calostro.
  • Puede usar clorhexidina al 2% como alternativa al yodo .
  • Chequee el ombligo en busca de sangrado excesivo, dolor, hinchazón anormal, mal olor o pus, y trátelo según lo recomendado por el/la veterinario del rancho.

2. Separar al becerro de la vaca lo antes posible.

  • Después de 60 a 90 minutos de nacido, el becerro puede ponerse de pie y tratar de mamar y lamer  superficies contaminadas, y esto aumentara el riesgo de que adquiera enfermedades.
  • Especialmente importante en ranchos donde está presente la enfermedad de Johne (paratuberculosis)

3. Alimente con calostro (10 % del peso) de alta calidad (Brix > 22) dentro de las primeras 6 horas

  • Use el tubo alimentador en becerros débiles, sin reflejo de succión.
  • Considere dar una segunda alimentación con calostro entre las 6 a 12 horas después del nacimiento.



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