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Calving Vet Box

February 27, 2017

Calving season is just around the corner, if it hasn’t started for you already and it’s always a stressful time of the year on any ranch. Hopefully, you have your vet box ready before you begin calving and if not, maybe a reminder wouldn’t hurt! In 2014 and 2015 I worked for Milt & Clarice Madison in Alexander, ND and if any of you know Clarice you know the wealth of knowledge she has. I wish I could have wrote down everything she told me so I could write a book, but sadly I didn’t. Luckily, I did write down the things she told me to always have on hand for calving season! Here is a list of things I now carry in my calving box:

  • Full Length Gloves

There are a lot of situations when calving where you just need to get your hands dirty to find out more or to intervene. Given the locations and type of fluids involved there is a significant risk of infection from either rancher to cow or cow to rancher. A box of disposable vet gloves is very cheap, less than $20 for a box of 100 and is a small price for protection.


  • Colostrum

The single biggest boost a calf can get in early life is plenty of good quality colostrum in the first hours of life. With the nature of calving it will not always be possible to milk the cow or to get the calf to suck enough colostrum and that is where it is useful to have another form of colostrum to hand.


  • Bottle and enough quality replacer for 1-2 calves

More than likely a new born calf is not going to suck down a full feeding but it’s a good idea to carry some with you. If you notice a calf who looks a little “sucked in” it could be that the cow isn’t or can’t feed it and this is where these things can come in handy.


  • Different sizes syringes and needles

  • Clean wash cloth or wad of paper towels


  • OB Chains & Handles

You never know when you may have to intervene and help with the birth process. Of course it would ideal to be able to be in a warm barn with a head catch and better equipment but sometimes out on the range you use what you have.


  • Calf Scour Bolus & Bolus shooter

Calf Scour Bolus is recommended for oral administration for the control and treatment of the following diseases of beef and dairy calves caused by organisms sensitive to oxytetracyline: bacterial enteritis caused by and (colibacillosis); bacterial pneumonia (shipping fever complex, pasteurellosis) caused by .


  • Prevail or Banamine

Prevail and Banamine are injectable solution, indicated for the control of pyrexia associated with bovine respiratory disease, endotoxemia and acute bovine mastitis. Prevail is also indicated for the control of inflammation in endotoxemia. Prevail or Banamine should be given at 1cc per 100 lbs of body weight.


  • Nuflor

Usually during calving time, the snow is melting or has melted and the ground is soggy and wet. Prime time for hoof rot! If a cow isn’t feeling 100%, most likely her calf isn’t going to be doing 100% either. Nuflor is highly effective in the treatment of bovine respiratory disease (also called BRD) and foot rot. Nuflor should be given at 6 cc per 100 lbs of body weight


  • B Complex

Especially indicated where animals have been “off feed” for a period of time due to shipping, illness, or other stress factors B Complex can be an excellent tool to bring a calf “back to life”. Vitamin B Complex should be given at 1 cc per 100 lbs of body weight.


  • A calving record book is also a good idea so that if you treat a calf you can have it on record for future reference.


Of course, everyone has their preferences for what they carry in their vet box but hopefully something that I listed here may be something you never thought of having with you or sparked you into going and checking yours before the time comes! Please share your suggestions as well. Thank you for reading my blog, which was actually my first! I hope I can find the inspiration to also write another one!


Thank you & happy calving,


Hayley Darnielle

R&J Ag Supply



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