Beef Cattle Calving
Beef Cattle Calving is a very caring and sensitive time for both the cattle and
the herd owner. It is a very responsible job. Cows need special care and attention during calving period. Herd
owners need to be extra cautious during calving for the safe delivery of the newly born calves. Post birth care of
both calf and cow is very important. Cows and heifers have special nutritional requirements during calving time.
Farm must also be ready to support newly born calves.
Herd owners must prepare themselves and their
farm to welcome and take care of the newly born calves. They need to plan all their steps under the guidance of a
qualified veterinarian. Nutrition, vaccination and sanitation are main areas of concern. Cows need proper
nutrition, especially in the last six to eight weeks of gestation. It is better to keep pregnant cows and heifers
separated from the rest of the herd and feed them according to their needs, both before and after calving. After
the birth of the calf, cows need extra attention to their feeding program for first few months, especially during
Beef cattle calving difficulties can reduce the crop production considerably and hence
affect the profit of the ranch. Calving difficulties can result in weak or disabled calves. Cows may also take
longer to return to their cycling after calving. Low calf vigor can result due to improper nourishment of the cows
before calving. Weak cows often face calving difficulties. Regular checking of heifers and cows during gestation is
very important. All arrangements should be made well in advance to tackle calving difficulties and aiding the cows
to deliver healthy calves.
Places used for beef cattle calving must be clean and germ free. Herd owners must
observe their cows to get alert if they show any signs of calving on time. Signs like udder filling, springing,
loss of the cervical plug, relaxation of the pelvic ligaments and strutting of the teats indicate approaching
calving time. It usually takes 60 to 90 minutes for heifers and 30 to 60 minutes for cows for the delivery.
Handling of newly born calves must also be done very cautiously. It is better to be careful as cows can act
aggressive to protect their calves. Calves must be breathing normally and begin nursing after birth. They must get
the required colostrums from the cow to build their immunity against diseases like scours and pneumonia.