Before calving season starts, save time and stress by putting together the supplies and equipment you might need to assist heifers and cows, says Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University.

Items to put in your calving kit include: disposable obstetrical sleeves, non- irritant antiseptic, lubricant, obstetrical chains (60" and/or two 30" chains), two obstetrical handles, mechanical calf pullers and injectable antibiotics. Also have an iodine solution to treat navels of newborns shortly after birth. A ­ ash-light and a roll of paper towels might also come in handy.

It might be helpful for you to have all these things and other items you might want packed into a 5-gal. bucket or bag so you can grab everything at once. Place that bucket in a location near the calving area.

Along with your kit, develop a plan of what to do if problems arise. (See example at left.) Make sure all family members or helpers are familiar with the plan. Talk to your local veterinarian about your protocol and incorporate his/her suggestions. Write it out, laminate it and post copies near feed and veterinary supplies, in your calving kit and on the wall near the calving stalls.

To watch a video with Glenn Selk’s advice for what to include in your calving kit, visit:


Note: This story appeared in the February 2017 issue of Drovers.