Calf management in livestock production units.

in STEMGeeks5 months ago (edited)
Dear readers, in the livestock production units as mentioned in previous articles, different age groups are managed, among them are the calves that represent the future herd of either meat or milk depending on the type of system that is managed on the farm. After delivery of the cows, the calves go through a series of management to ensure good growth and development within the estate, it is necessary to mention that the management activities that we will mention below, possibly in full is not made in all the farming systems, in the particular case of our manuscript is based on the management practices that are applicable in the geographical area of the area south of Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela. Without further ado let's get started !

In the first place, when they are born calves must make sure that in the first six hours breastfeed and receive from cow colostrum, which is a substance secreted by the mammary gland of the cow that has a high nutritional properties, specialists as Guzmán (1987), indicate that the colostrum is composed of immunoglobulins, or antibodies, in addition to fats, vitamin A and minerals which encourages the animal to cope with the attack of bacteria; A very famous recipe that has been socialized to supply it when the calf cannot consume the colostrum is the following:

  • Mix 2 beaten eggs with water, also add cod oil and whole milk; it is said that it can be a substitute for colostrum and generate a protective action against bacteria such as Escherichia coli, and in addition to this it helps the animal to defecate and clean the intestine.
The calves are also weighed, with the intention of observing the evolution in terms of their development, this weighing is carried out by some producers at birth and at different time intervals, in this way it can be identified if there is any deficiency in the animal's diet.

On the other hand, sanitary management is also important by establishing a thorough vaccination program, to avoid anthrax among other diseases, also based on the registration to keep the inventory of livestock within the farm, the calf must be identified which can be done with earrings in the ears or tattoo of the animal, then an identification card is created with information regarding the date of birth, weight among other interesting data.

In the same way other management activities is dehorning, which consists of applying a substance to the base of caustic soda or failing to use a topizador of iron which is heated and applied in the growing points of the horns to prevent its growth, as it cauterized the tissue, generally this practice is carried out when the calves are about four or five weeks old. This prevents accidents in the future with other animals causing damage to the udders or damage to someone.

Last but not least, there is the food management, in that sense in different articles we have mentioned that cattle have a stomach structured in 4 compartments called Rumen, Reticulum, Omasum and Abomasum, which makes them ruminant polygastric animals, since they have the ability to degrade vegetable fiber in one of the compartments the Rumen. When a calf is born it must be fed with milk because it has not developed the entire digestive system the only functional compartment is the abomasum, as the weeks pass the stomach develops and at approximately 56 days the animal should be consuming forage because its entire digestive system should already be developed (Rumen, Reticulum, Omasum and Abomasum).

If you want to read a little about the digestive system of cattle I invite you to visit the following link

Digestive system and nutritional aspects of bovine production

Final considerations
Dear readers, as it could be evidenced, cattle from birth require a series of handling that are important for the proper development of the animal, generally when the calf reaches eight weeks of birth approximately we can say that it has an adult ruminant stomach, there we locate a forage surface close to the cowgirl to continue monitoring them closely, the ideal is that they are alone in the area to avoid some kind of problems with animals of another age group.

We hope the information will be useful to all of you, thank you for staying until the end.

Bibliographic references
  • Guzmán, J. (1987). The calf handling and breeding. Spasande. Caracas: Venezuela.

  • Koeslag, J. (2005). Milk cattle. Threshing. Mexico.


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Why Cod oil? do you know???
thanks for bringing it

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Hello dear friend @gwajnberg, very good question that complements the article, in the mixture that the cod oil is used facilitates in the calf the digestive function so that it expels the first excrement.

See you later bro, have a great week.


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Thank you for the support dear friends.

 5 months ago Reveal Comment

Thank you for the support dear friends.