Wallaces Farmer

Online calving management help available

New Calving Management Manual on Iowa Beef Center website is designed for producer use.

March 8, 2019

2 Min Read
CALVING TIME: Knowing what to watch for and how to help a cow that’s having trouble giving birth is critical.

Calving management is critical to production and profitability of the cow herd. Proper care prior to and at calving time can help reduce incidence of dystocia, or difficulties that cows can have in delivering a calf.

Proper management ahead of calving can also minimize deleterious impacts should dystocia occur when calves are being born. Knowing how to prepare, what to do and not do, and when to take action all are critical aspects of correctly managing calving in your herd.

That’s why the Iowa Beef Center and Iowa State University Extension developed the Calving Management Manual.

ISU Extension beef veterinarian Grant Dewell led the effort with contributions from ISU veterinarian Renée Dewell and ISU Extension cow-calf specialist Katy Lippolis. He says the manual is designed to help producers prepare for and successfully navigate the calving season, and is available on the Iowa Beef Center website.

Preventing, managing difficult deliveries
Among the topics covered in the manual are precalving nutrition, calving supplies and facilities, stages of delivery, dystocia prevention and intervention, and care for the calf. Each section has a separate page, and each page has links to all other sections. This makes it easy to switch between topics as the need arises.

"Of particular interest at this time of year are the sections on 'dystocia prevention and intervention' and 'care for calf,'" says Grant Dewell, ISU Extension Beef Veterinarian. "The images in the dystocia section of the calving manual show clearly on a mobile device. A cattle producer can use the images and captions to identify the type of dystocia they are dealing with and then try to correct it."

USDA data finds about 12% of heifers and 4% of mature cows experience dystocia or a difficult delivery at calving. Calves born from a dystocia event are three to 25 times more likely to die at birth and have a one and a half times greater likelihood to experience a morbidity event prior to weaning.

The manual is available online. Eventually all section content will be available as PDF downloads.

Source: Iowa State University, which is responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and its subsidiaries aren’t responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.




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