July Focus
July 2024


  • Springers – if you had an issue with down cows last season – or if the cows are all obese and you’re wondering if you’ll have a problem this season – a pre-calving blood test is a great idea. Nice to get on top of any mineral deficiencies BEFORE they start going down!
  • Getting a handful of older Colostrum cows checked on the day they calve is also a good way to pick up any milk-fever issues early – even subclinical low calcium at calving will have far-reaching effects into lactation and mating. These old girls are the canaries in the coal mine.
  • When calving cows - the earlier we are called in the birthing process, the more likely we are to have a successful outcome. If you’ve been trying for half an hour and you’re not getting anywhere, call us! Remember: Be gentle, use plenty of lube and try to be as clean as possible.
  • Have your calving kit ready at the shed: lube/ropes/chains/handles/antiseptic/pulley or jack.
  • Have your down cow kit on the bike ready – if your magnesium supplementation is going well, most issues will be low calcium.
  • If she’s not up by sunset, there’s likely to be another reason for a cow being down… as per calvings, the earlier we’re called to a sick animal, the greater chance of success.
  • RMT colostrum cows to make sure the SCC is good BEFORE they enter the herd.
  • Autumn calvers should be hopefully holding their peak and be pregnant now, keeping them fully fed with minimal diet disruption is the main aim for them.


Just for fun… the following is taken word for word from the 1938 NZ Veterinary Handbook

‘The main factor contributing to milk fever is an easy calving which makes very little call for expenditure of muscular or nervous energy.’

Who knew?



  • It’s been a warm and wormy autumn, and it’s generally a good idea to drench yearlings coming out of their first winter. Easy to forget in the stress of calving, but time well spent!
  • Keep up with feed so they’re all hitting puberty early and mating is a breeze.
  • Remember BVD booster vaccinations.
  • Autumn borns will be due their lepto/salmonella vaccinations if not already done.



  • Setup calf sheds so they’re dry and disinfected. Keep the bobby collection area separate.
  • Get a BRIX refractometer to measure your undiluted first milking GOLD colostrum for your calves’ first feed – 22% is the target. Get GOLD colostrum into the calves as soon as possible after birth, before the gut closes and can’t absorb essential antibodies.
  • Iodine navel spray – both before they go on the trailer AND before they enter the shed.
  • Multimin injection at 24h old is a proven option for an immune system boost resulting in less calf morbidity/sickness.
  • Setup a footbath & wear some gloves to minimize any disease spread.

Lastly, it’s a busy time for everyone without getting sick, so: wash hands and change overalls to keep you & your family safe!