How to Take Care of Cow After Delivery [Complete Guide]
So, you want to know how you can take care of cow after delivery. You may know, at this time the condition of cows becomes vulnerable.
The truth is— some farmers do not get the best yield, even some lose the cow and calf because of improper care at this time.
However, good care consists of fulfilling nutrition requirements; managing hygiene factors; prevent and cure diseases and problems; and overall healthy husbandry.
In this article, I am pointing out necessary practices after delivery to skip problems and recover mama cow quickly after calving.
- Immediate Take Care for Cow After Delivery: Step By Step Process
- Ensuring Regular Care of Cow After Calving
- Tips on Preventing and Curing Diseases
Immediate Take Care for Cow After Delivery: Step By Step Process
Your cow has to tolerate a huge pain in the delivery process.
If your cow and its newborn calf are well you must be grateful. However, if you are beginner, it will be better to take help from experts, Veterinarian.
- The caring process will start with the initial cleaning and providing drinkable water to the mother cow. However, you should monitor the health condition of the mother and newborn.
- After that, you have to make sure that the Placenta is come out easily.
- Hence, the proper care will include ensuring a healthy - diet & nutrition, environment and protecting them from diseases and harmful insects.
Now, let’s point out how you can ensure optimum care of your cow after its parturition.
1. Check The Health Condition
Sometimes cows and newborn died immediately after the delivery. It happens because of the complexity of the delivery process.
If the cow bleeds continuously or if it is very weak you should communicate with a vet for treatment.
If the delivery process is normal and the cow seems vivid, you should leave the cow and newborn alone for nearly one hour to take a rest.
2. Supply Ample Food and Water
In the delivery process, your cow does a very hard job and tolerates pain. As much fluid and electrolytes come out of it in the delivery process it feels thirsty.
Water will protect it from dehydration and help to be relaxed.
So you should supply amply clean water and grass to your cow. Water must not be too hot or cold. If it is winter, provide lukewarm water.
The supply of warm crude sugar mixed with barn mash can help to regain energy fast.
If you have any option, you can provide after-calving energy drinks.
It supplies the required energy and helps to increase the desire for eating. That's why cows can recover soon.
3. Ensure the Delivery of the Placenta
After the delivery of the calf, the placenta (afterbirth) will be expelled by the cow.
It is important to ensure that the placenta is delivered. Sometimes it doesn’t come out and can cause serious problems to the cows.
What problems can occur if the placenta does not come out?
The risk factors of not delivering placenta (afterbirth) after calving are -
2. Internal bleeding
3. Foul-smelling discharge
4. Not producing milk
How long a cow can retain the placenta?
In general cases, cows deliver the placenta 3 to 4 hours after the delivery of the calf. Taking up to 24 hours is not an extreme case as some cows have records of delivering it on the 14th day.
How to treat a cow with the retained placenta?
Is the placenta of your cow hanging?
Then, keep in mind that you must not force the hanging placenta to come out.
Without some exceptions, there is no need for any treatment. I recommend that you wait at least 24 hours to come out of the placenta.
In case it has not come out, contact a vet. An oxytocin injection will make the placenta come out fast.
Cow and some other animals have a tendency to eat the placenta as soon as come out.
What is the effect of a cow eating placenta?
Here the question arises- is eating the placenta beneficial or harmful?
Some people claim it is beneficial. Others say it can cause digestive problems. But there does not exist any scientific evidence in favor or against the statement.
However, a publication of FAO said to prevent cows from eating placenta. Now, it is your wish. I never let my cow eat the placenta.
Ensuring Regular Care of Cow After Calving
Now, you can do some routine work for caring for your cows. It will help you to increase milk yield, getting cows healthy, and amplify the overall productivity of your farm.
4. Fulfill all nutrition requirements
Food management is a prerequisite of the high yield of cows. To produce milk, the cow needs extra nutrition. That's why the requirement for food and nutrition increases after the delivery.
A cow needs nearly two times food and supplements in that time than that of prior.
But, you can find that the cow doesn’t take enough foods in the first few days after calving. So the question is—
Why is the cow not eating after giving birth?
Because of stress and pain during delivery cows lose appetite. As a result, they do not want to take food.
With the reviving of their body condition the appetite increases.
At this time you need to provide the foods that the cow likes most. For instance, boiled rice or wheat, Fenugreek, and tender green grasses.
You must supply food and supplements that can meet all nutritional requirements.
Keep in mind that-
- Milk giving cow needs at least three liters of water to produce one liter of milk. So, feed and water should always be available at the bunk.
- Always try to feed hay first, then grain or other protein supplements.
- Choose long fiber forages. In case of supply more than one free, do not feed them separately, rather mix them up.
- Daily supply green fooders nearly 10% of the total body weight of the cow.
- Dry matters 2-3% of body weight.
5. Ensure Healthy and Protected Surroundings
So, you must be careful about hygiene factors. You need to clean the calving place and the cow.
Besides, the milking parlor, cow barn, cowshed, and hose should be kept neat and clean. It will prevent the cow from infection like Endometritis.
The places must be-
- Dry and well ventilated.
- Having enough space for the cow.
- Disinfected and clean
- Protected from cold, heat, rain, and direct sunlight
- Protected from harsh noises
- Protected from predators like coyotes, lynx, dogs, wolves, and others.
6. Remove Udder Hairs
It is better to remove the udder hairs of the cows. That makes it easy to clean the teats before milking. Besides, dirt and manures cannot compact on the udder.
In dairy farms, hairs are removed with a flame clipper. For a small amount of cow, you can use a trimmer.
7. Be Careful While Milking
You must maintain hygiene while collecting milk whether by hand or machine. Mitosis can occur because of not maintaining hygiene factors.
Major care tips are-
- All instruments must be disinfected before milking. In the case of hand milking, you must clean your hand properly.
- You should choose a non-toxic teat sanitizer for pre-milking sanitization of the cow udders and milking instruments.
- The production of milk has a connection to milking frequency. So, the more you demand milk the more the cow will produce.
- Two times milking per day is most effective and efficient.
- After rinsing udder you should dry them off. To do so, you can use a clean cloth or paper towels.
- Disinfect teats after milking to kill pathogens on teats. You should use good post-milking antiseptics.
8. Control Flies Around
The smell of the after-birth vaginal discharges from cows will attract flies. So, these flies will annoy the cow and will increase the stress in them.
Besides, they bear pathogens. That can cause diseases and serious problems.
You must take the necessary steps to control these flies. Organic fly spray is a good opinion here to control flies without any harm.
Tips on Preventing and Curing Diseases
Some common problems and diseases outbreak after the calving of a cow.
You need proper knowledge and care to prevent and fight against these problems and diseases.
The following problems and diseases are mostly seen among the cows after delivery-
- The cow has no milk after calving
- Generally, his problem is found among the nondairy breeds of cows. However, because of hormonal, physical dysfunctions, this problem can be seen among dairy breeds of cows.
The solution of this problem includes-
- Helping to improve the body condition of the cow.
- Providing nutritious foods and supplements.
- Feeding proven herbs that help to increase milk production like alfalfa, Fenugreek, marshmallow roots, and fennels.
- Gently bumping, massaging, and squeezing the udders several times.
Metritis is a kind of infection in the uterus of a cow. You will find that cow discharge after calving.
This disease occurs near after the calving. The First 10 to 14 days after the delivery has the most risk. The symptoms of metritis are-
- Foul-smelling discharge.
- Fever in cows. Though, sometimes it may not have any symptoms of fever.
Boosting up the immune system of the cow, maintaining hygiene factors and antibiotics are the treatment of metritis.
Mastitis in cows after delivery is common. This disease decreases the production of milk.
It is an inflammatory disease of the mammary gland. The attack of bacteria within unhygienic husbandry is the main culprit for the disease.
The symptoms of the disease are-
- Clot, pus, and watery appearance in milk
- Swollen, hot, and painful udder
- Redness looked udder and it may feel hard
Maintaining hygiene factors in milking activities and husbandry of the cow will prevent the problem. If you find any symptoms of Mastitis you should take an immediate consultation from a vet.
The imbalance of calcium causes milk fever or Hypocalcemia in cows. It is the most common problem in cows after the delivery. It occurs because of both deficiencies of calcium and excessive calcium.
The symptoms are-
- Lose of appetite and for this food intake decreases.
- The cow becomes clumsy, nervous, weak, and depressed.
- Cows are lying down with their head outstretched or in extreme cases lying flat on the ground.
Milk fever is a serious problem and it can cause the death of your cow. To treat the problem the calcium level of blood must be checked. So, you cannot but avoid a vet.
This disease can outbreak during the lactation period of the cow. Most cases show that cows face this problem within the first 2 months after the delivery.
The symptoms are-
- Much mucus in dung
- Drop-in feed intake and milk yield
- Weak body condition and weight loss
- Unsteadily walking
So, to treat ketosis you need to-
- Supply nutritious foods.
- Don’t bring a sudden massive change in the food supply.
- Avoid overfeeding.
In case udder oedema affects, you will find excess fluid in the udder area of the cow. Sometimes it is also found on the belly. The area became swollen. But the area will not be hot or painful.
Feeding excessive salt and potassium at the gestation period causes the problem.
The remedies are-
- Massage of the affected area
- Diuretics injection
- Consultation of a veterinarian.
Attack of parasites
Worms, lice, and mites cease the nutrition and blood of cows. As body condition becomes vulnerable after calving, attacks of parasites can create serious health issues.
They decrease the production of milk. Even the cow can die because of malnutrition.
First few days after the calving is critical for the cow. You must keep an eye on the body condition of it.
You must try to prevent infection at any cost. Many death cases of the cow after the delivery occurs because of infection. You also need to prevent other diseases and parasites attack.
If you found the cow is vivid, you are tension-free. However, newborn calves care are also crucial.
In case the body condition is not good you need to enhance the level of care.
Continuous communication with a vet is always a good practice. Comment here if you have any questions or suggestions. Happy farming.