Tiki, our 3 yr old Jersey cow, freshened (proper term for calving – especially in dairy cows) yesterday, December 29.
We base the due date 285 days after the breeding date. We artificially inseminate most of our cows, so this is an exact date.
Most cows will calve within a two week window before or after the due date.
Tiki seemed to actually read the book. This is her second calf, and she gave birth to both on her expected due date.
As I’ve said before, calves must receive colostrum within the first 12 hours of birth to have a strong immune system.
Tiki was a bit nervous and wanted to keep her calf in her sight. This makes it difficult for the calf to nurse.
Just to be sure this heifer gets a good immune system, we milked Tiki into a calf bottle and fed the calf a good bottle of colostrum.
I also administered a tube of extra antibodies.
It’s critical for a healthy calf to receive good colostrum in the first 12-24 hours of life.
It is also important the the umbilical cord be sanitized with iodine or chlorhexidine. The wet umbilical cord is an opportunity for bacteria to get into the calf’s body.
Here’s a sweet video of her learning to use those new legs!
I will update on both calves soon.