Fall is here and the trees are starting to turn with the hint of the gorgeous colors soon to come! Hot and warm, sunny days with cool, foggy nights and mornings. My favorite time of the year, although it can sometimes be a rough time of year for our feeder calves.
The hot days and cool nights make some of our calves have respiratory problems, with coughing, lack of appetite, and a generally draggy disposition. It is very imporatnt to check our calves, especially the new ones added to the farms, every morning and evening. A calf that is laying around when all of the other calves are grazing, with it’s head down, or it coughes when it walks or whose coat of fur is not looking smooth and shiny, will very likely be showing symptoms of illness. When calves show symptoms like theses they need intervention to prevent worsening symptoms and possibly death.
On the advise of our veternarians, we take the calves to where they can be caught and give them the proper medicines to help get rid of their illness. They are watched carefully and evaluated as to whether they need additional medication or not. We watch them carefully to see if they improve in grazing on grass and in their looks and energy levels. Once we see those improvements they are turned out into pastures with other healthy calves.
We follow the advise and guidelines of our veternarians when giving medications to our animals. There is nothing we dislike any more than losing a calf to a preventable illness!
So while fall is a beautiful time of year here, it is also a time to be extra vigilant on the health of our feeder calves!