Care of the Calves
In calf management, calves may be allowed to go with the dam the mother cow, during the day and separated at night, if making is done only once a day. In twice a day milking separated calves immediately after the calving and place them in elevated structures. See to it that they drink the colostrums (bloody milk) for the first three days after calving as the will increase their body resistance.
On calving, the umbilicus should be painted with tincture of iodine in order to prevent in fiction. The first fourteen days of the calf’s life is the most crucial. Protect them against cold wind and infection. The best disinfectant for barns and platforms is slaked lime powder applied twice a week.
If artificial fed, milk mixed with one tablespoon cod liver oil is given in small mouthed bottles twice a day. The amount of milk given is 1.5 liters per feeding. Gradually increase this every week until the calf is one month old when 2 liters are fed. From three months to six months, gradually decrease this every week until the calf is one month old when 2 liters are fed. From three to six months, gradually decrease the amount every week until six months when it is given only 1.5 liters and then weaned.
Water must be provided at all times.
Give one month cows 1/2 kg grain feeds twice a day. Gradually increase it to 2 kg per feeding. At three months, give all the grass it will eat. Grain feeding is necessary even after weaning.
Routine deworming after three months, as cows, should be allowed every six months. Vaccinate the animals against hemorrhagic septicemia every 3 months at the age of 6 months. In case of ticks, Asuntol, a preparation top comb at ticks is the best treatment. Rub on the body once every two weeks.
A dairy cow needs more attention and care than other types of cow. With good management practices, you can benefit more from your dairy cows. Here are some of the things you must follow:
- Avoid the hit-and-miss system by always keeping the records of breeding. Also, keep records on milk production, general performance and herd health, cattle inventory, feed and cost of production.
- Dry the cow one two months before calving by not milking and withholding feed for one week. Give recommended dry feed until she calves.
- Put the pregnant cow in a separate house one week before calving. Watch her constantly for signs of calving, which include reduced appetite, distended udder, swelling and congestion of the vulva, mucus discharge from the genitals, frequent urination, and restlessness as a manifestation of labor.
- Milking animal should be provided with training, kindness and care, and regularly fed and milked. Always keep the cows clean. Brush off adhering dirt and clip long hairs from the udder, hindlegs and rear flanks. Trim long of uneven hooves.
- If you raise temperate breeds, sprinkle or splash clean water on them during hot hours of the day. Provide cows with a clean, well-bedded, cool resting place.
- Provide salt licks and clean, fresh drinking water throughout the day. Coarse salt available from the public market can be also utilized.
Protect your head against common diseases infecting them. Some of them are mastitis, hemorrhagic septicemia, cowpox, peptic ulcer, testicular infection, puerperal infection, bloat, stomach worm, scours warts, pneumonia, arthritis, and skin infection.
At early sign of disease, isolate the affected animal immediately. Use disinfectant liberally; a good farmer should also have the first-aid kit and medicines before the veterinarians arrives.
Every six months, deworm your cows with Tetrasole. In zero-grazing , however, deworming is unnecessary unless the pasture grass and/or legumes are infested with liverfluke or stomach worm.
This should be done with two hands and with utmost hygiene. Wash the udder with soap and water, rinse with 10 per cent slaked lime ointment to the teats after the milking to prevent infection. Remember that mastitis is the most common problem of dairy cows.
Feed the animal with grain feeds or concentrate to prevent excitement during milking. Utensils used in milking, pails, bottles and caps must be clean and thoroughly sterilized before milking to avoid souring of milk keeping quality, whether raw, pasteurized or sterilized, under room or chilling temperature.
Animalo manure is a good source of organic fertilizer and energy. But it should be regularly and properly disposed of to reduce the odors in barns and to prevent the proliferation of flies, pest, and bacterial.
For more information, contact:
DOST Central Office
DOST Bldg. Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig
Telephone Nos: (632) 837-20-71 to 82