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.
- Check that the calf coat is bright, shiny and that the hair is not elevated
- Ensure the nose of the calf is moist and warm
- Check joints to ensure there is no swelling or stiffness
- 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.
- 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.
- Monitor breathing rate/respiratory rate, normal should be in within the range of 50-75 breaths/min
- Ensure head and ears are elevated and not drooping.