By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

When it comes to breeding livestock, the health of the animals is the top priority of ranchers. Aside from providing an appropriate shelter, food, and vitamins, there are other steps that ranchers take to ensure their cattle’s well-being.

One thing that helps in animal raising is starting early as possible. This gives the rancher enough time to prepare for the processes that the calves will undergo as they grow.

Here are some tips to get healthier calves:

  1. Start with the cow: Have a nutritional program ready for the pregnant cow. This will help in properly nourishing the fetal calf. Afterward, consult the veterinarian for a calving program and vaccinations.
  2. Secure the environment: The weather plays a role on calf disease. That’s why most ranchers push calving, or helping a cow give birth, when the weather is conducive to be able to do it outside where the mother will be comfortable.

  3. Prepare for weaning: Before accustoming calves to food other than their mother’s milk, at two to three months, vaccinate the young to prevent illnesses like Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD). And to ease the weaning process, keep the calves close to their mothers but not close enough to feed off them.

  4. Keep the calves on the farm: Before sending off calves to different locations, keep them for at least 45 days in the farm where they were weaned. This helps lessen the stress that they might get from suddenly being exposed to new environments.

If there are other health problems that should arise, the best response is to consult the veterinarian to address the disease as quickly and effectively as possible.

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