Calves are extremely vulnerable in the first few weeks of life, once the calf is up and going it is vital to do a calf health check regularly to ensure that all is as it should be.  The following steps are a good routine to ensure a successful season.

  1. Check that the calf coat is bright, shiny and that the hair is not elevated
  2. Ensure the nose of the calf is moist and warm
  3. Check joints to ensure there is no swelling or stiffness
  4. Check to ensure the Naval is soft, supple and not hard, this can be any area exposed to infection so feel the area to ensure that there is no inflammation.
  5. Monitor calves temperature, a normal reading using a digital thermometer is 38.5⁰C – 39⁰C. Measure this by gently placing the thermometer into the anus of the calf.  An elevated reading may be the sign of infection.
  6. Monitor breathing rate/respiratory rate, normal should be in within the range of 50-75 breaths/min
  7. Ensure head and ears are elevated and not drooping.

For advice on feeding and health of a calf read our articles here or contact us here.  Watch the latest Interchem and That’s Farming Brilliant at the Basics video on Calf Health Check here.

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