Cows Throwing Large Calves

Last year we highlighted this as a problem and we are already finding this issue again.  

We have had a few cases where an embryotomy has been necessary and we have carried out caesareans at a higher rate than expected. 
“The advice from the SAC is: Some farms are reporting oversized calves with associated dystocia / calf viability issues with increased numbers of caesareans.   There is published evidence to suggest that in heifers, calf birth weight is reduced by restricted protein in mid pregnancy. Under nutrition can also lead to an increase in the diameter of the blood vessels in the umbilical cord allowing a compensatory increase in blood flow to the foetus. It is speculated that this could lead to foetal oversize if cows undergo a period of feed restriction with a period at the end of pregnancy when feeding rates are increased to compensate”.
So the message is flat rate feeding and if necessary house up till calving if possible to keep control of diet and body condition.

Related SEV Branch