Hypothermia & newborn calves
Whether you are a dairy producer who calves year round, a beef producer who may calve early, or if you have a calf that is born under less-than-desirable conditions, hypothermia is something that we need to be concerned about, especially this time of year. The National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) in 2007 found that the average mortality of pre-weaned calves on farms during 2006 was 7.8%. Often pre-weaned death is a result of respiratory infections or diarrhea, and often come about due to dystocia and poor environmental conditions at birth. Surveys also show that mortality in beef herds from birth to weaning also ranges from 3-7%. The majority of normal deaths occur within the first 24 hours of life. The leading causes of death during this 24 hour period is dystocia (difficult births) and hypothermia (cold stress), especially this time of year.