Care of New Born Calf

The  golden  hour: The  first  hour  after  calving  is  the  most  critical  period  in  the entire  life  of  new born calf.


  • Clean nostrils and mouth which helps the calf breathe better and help prevent future breathing problems.
  • Allow the mother to lick the calf clean which promotes circulation within the calf’s body and prepares the calf to stand up and walk.
  • Tie the naval cord with a thread at a distance of around
  • 2 inches from the base and cut the remaining cord with a clean instrument.
  • Dip the navel (a simple smearing will  not  serve the purpose) in 7% or higher tincture of iodine solution and repeat after 12 hours.  (Do not use teat dip or weaker iodine  solutions). A  poorly  maintained navel is  the gateway to serious infections.
  • A new born calf should be given 2 litres of colostrum within the first 2 hours of birth and 1-2 litres (based on size) within 12 hours of birth.
  • Many  calves do   not   nurse  adequate  amounts  of colostrum from their dams within the first few hours of life, and thus they may not receive adequate immunity.
  • Feeding colostrum after 24 hours of birth may not help the calf to ward off infections.
  • A calf must receive adequate colostrum to protect it from diseases for the first three months of its life. Colostrum is the calf’s “passport to life”.
  • Hand-feeding new-born calves is therefore recommended so that the farmer is sure about the amount of colostrum an individual calf receives.
  • De-worming should be done within  10-14 days of age subsequently on a monthly basis up to the 6th month.
  • When the animal is 3 months old, contact the veterinarian for vaccination.
  • Provide calf starter from 2-8 weeks for better growth and early maturity.


Example of a simple calf starter (approx. percentages)

Maize-52 % ; Oats -20 % ; Soya bean meal -20 %; Molasses -5 %;

Salt ­-0.5 % ; Minerals (Macro & Micro) -1.5%; Vitamins -1%

                                           Timely care of new-born calf will ensure its survival