Warm milk keeps the chill away fine, but the first few hours can be critical.
Hot topics, The Purpose Driven Herd
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Getting ahead of chills

Warm milk keeps the chill away fine, but the first few hours can be critical.A month ago, I saw the February calving date approaching and thought about all the times I’d seen heifers decide on just the wrong place for the wind and weather, despite ample shelter.

I always tried to right the wrong and at least once each year I brought a chilled calf into my basement office to attempt saving it with towels, hair dryer and space heater. Even tried the bathtub last year when we were about to get a new bathtub. Those various attempts were sometimes disappointing and never easy to attempt, so I looked into buying a calf warming hut.

image3People have built some good ones, and others say they use the pickup heater on the floorboard, but they may have more experience. I decided to go with something proven; I need an automatic calf-sitter when business hours come around and I have to get on a conference call or write or edit something.

There were four contenders we could have for $50 either side of $700, delivered; not knowing enough to differentiate, we went with the lower end and have been happy with it.

Three calves from the heifers have spent a couple of hours each within the thermostatically image2controlled 100-degree hut and enjoyed the momma-and-calf reunions.

A 15-day-early calf was born to the nearby AI cow herd on a 10-degree night, but he was a big and robust calf in no need of extra help.

image4Amazingly, no calves in the last day with the cold and snow, but I do have a waterer to thaw before the rest of the day gets started. Just for the contrast, I’m going to cross-reference this under “hot topics.”

Hope all your calves do well today and everybody enjoys some creature comforts.

Let’s keep building tomorrow together.

Steve

blackinksteve Visit Website
A dreamer, lucky enough to see some come true. Rooted in these Kansas hills, I married schoolmate Anne, hunter, fisher, cook, mom, teacher and coach, fellow K-Stater. We make homemade wine and better Angus calves each year. Two daughters are grown now, the eldest in Ireland. Unique son a teacher, too; we’re legal guardians now. Introspective, I love words (pictures, too); trying to avoid groaners, but puns are intended. Obscure Reference Man who likes historical ballads. Well, most music except – pardon my gap – rap. Since 1998, Director of Industry Information for CAB; now Senior Editor, Producer Communications. And so help me, I care.
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