Feed Lot

FEB 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

Issue link: https://feedlotmagazine.epubxp.com/i/934116

Contents of this Issue


Page 19 of 31

Warming a Calf " If you find a calf you missed and he's chilled, taking him inside is im- perative," says Hendrick. "The fastest way to warm one is directly, with warm (not hot) water. This di- rect contact is quicker than warm air. A hot box is great—a small heated area where you can put a chilled calf—but w o r k s b e s t f o r mild cases when a n e w b o r n c a l f i s chilled and needs to dry out." A calf born in be- low-zero tempera- tures and already freezing is an emer- gency. "Warm wa- ter will be quicker, w h e t h e r i t 's t h e bathtub or some other method. You don't want frozen feet, ears, and tails. Even after you've thawed and dried the calf and he's b a c k w i t h m o m , watch for swelling," says Hendrick. Calves with frozen feet may not be able to function. Daly says you can often reverse frostbite with warm water, if the calf hasn't been cold too long. "The key is warm water, not hot. This can help warm the tissues, but don't rub very much because those tissues may be damaged from freezing and you could damage them worse." Most of the calves he's seen with frozen feet were usually debilitated from some other reason, like scours. The dehydrated calf has less blood flow to extremities; limbs become cold and more vul- nerable to freezing. If a calf is sick he's usually spending too much time lying down--unable to get up and walk around and get circula- tion going. Blood perfusion to the limbs is severely compromised; you might not realize these calves may freeze their feet at tempera- tures that would not be dangerous to a normal calf. "One of the fastest ways to help w arm a newborn is to get mom's m ilk into him or some warmed-up colostrum," says Hendrick. This helps warm him from the inside as well as providing energy. The faster you get warm colostrum into him t h e b e t t e r. T h e clock starts ticking on gut closure (abil- ity to absorb anti- bodies) as soon as he is born. "If you take him away from mom to warm him before he's nursed, he's not getting antibod- ies, he's not getting nutrition, and you n e e d t o s u p p l y some during the warming process. It will be hard on t h a t c a l f i f i t 's 6 hours later before he gets colostrum from mom," says Hendrick. Give him a jump start with colostrum as soon as possible. Daly says there are many op- tions and designs for building your own warming boxes. "There are also nice commercial boxes. They may be more expensive, but often made from a poly type of plastic which is easy to clean. Wood boxes work very well to in- sulate the calves, but are a lot hard- er to completely clean." Boxes should be cleaned and disinfected between calves. "We've seen several situations in which lack of sanitation in warm- ing boxes led to increase in calf scours. You also need good venti- lation, and some way to remove hu- midity. If it's too humid, you have more problems with respiratory diseases in the calves as well as a buildup of pathogens in that kind of environment," says Daly. FL 20 FEED•LOT  February 2018 The fastest way to warm one is directly, with warm water. This direct contact is quicker than warm air. A hot box is great but works best for mild cases when a newborn calf is chilled and needs to dry out." Cold Stress in Calves... from previous page

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Feed Lot - FEB 2018