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Cattle – Foothills Mobile Veterinary Service PLLC

Posts in category Cattle

Controlling Respiratory Disease in Dairy Calves

Controlling Respiratory Disease in Dairy Calves


Do it Yourself: Cattle Mineral Feeder

Do it Yourself: Cattle Mineral Feeder

Follow these helpful tips from Dr. Matt Poore on building a mineral feeder for cattle.

Dr. Matt Poore is a Professor and Ruminant Extension Specialist in the Department of Animal Science at NC State University.

NC Cattlemen’s Association Annual Conference Feb 14-15, 2014 in Hickory, NC


The N. C. Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Conference and the N. C. Dairymen’s Annual Conference will take place on February 13-15, 2014, at the Hickory Metro Center in Hickory, NC.

2014 WNC Grazing Clinics

2014 WNC Grazing Clinics

2014 Western North Carolina Grazing Clinics
Posted from: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

The North Carolina Grassland and Forage Council and the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association will host 4-session grazing clinics in four locations in North Carolina.

Attend a 4-session clinic and receive:

-hands-on and personalized development of a comprehensive grazing plan for your operation
-techniques for sustainable pasture management
-how-to forage selection & management
-Pesticide Applicator CEUs
-Animal Waste Management System Operator CEUs
-full meals + refreshments
-grazing stick to take home to your farm

Clinics will be Held in Four Locations:

Alexander County NC Cooperative Extension Learning Center, 374 1st Ave SW, Taylorsville, NC
Tuesdays 2 pm-7 pm
Feb 25th, Mar 11th, Mar 25th, Apr 8th

NCDA&CS Upper Mountain Research Station 8004 NC 88, Laurel Springs, NC
Wednesdays 12 noon—5 pm
Feb 26th, Mar 12th, Mar 26th, Apr 9th

Western NC Regional Livestock Center 474 Stock Drive, Canton, NC
Thursdays 2 pm-7 pm
Feb 27th, Mar 13th, Mar 27th, Apr 10th

Rutherford County NC Cooperative Extension Center, 193 Calahan-Koon Road, Spindale, NC
Fridays 12 noon—5 pm
Feb 28th, Mar 14th, Mar 28th, Apr 11th

Registration is $50 (checks made to NCFGC).

Fill out a registration form and email to Amanda Schaller at amanda.schaller@nc.usda.gov by February 15th to register.

Space is limited! Registration is first-come-first-serve.

Questions? Call Amanda Schaller at 919-873-2132.

How to Freeze Brand Cattle

How to Freeze Brand Cattle

This document from Virginia Tech’s extension service provides excellent details on how to freeze brand cattle.

Tips to Help Cattle Cope with Cold Weather

Tips to Help Cattle Cope with Cold Weather

Helpful tips from North Dakota State University Extension Service to help cattle cope with cold weather.


Calving: When to Call for Help


Calf loss and dystocia can be stressful for cattle and their owners.  Dystocia is the medical term for a difficult birth.  Knowing the stages of labor can be helpful in determining when to call the vet for help.  Early recognition of a problem will help you save calves and increase the odds of your cow breeding back.  The table at the end of this post provides thumb rules for each stage of labor. Veterinary intervention is suggested if cows exceed the time limits of these thumb rules.


During stage 1 of labor, the calf is rotating into the correct position.  The cow may be seen getting up and down and will usually separate herself from the rest of the herd.  The cow may seem nervous, uncomfortable, and will likely stop eating and chewing her cud.  Once the water sac is expelled, this marks the beginning of stage 2 – delivery.


Once the water sac is expelled, the clock starts.  If there is not continual progress, something is likely wrong.  A cow should deliver her calf within 30 minutes and heifers may take up to 1 hour. The key is PROGRESS – if the animal is not progressing, call for help.

Signs of trouble:

  1. If the water sac has been visible for over 1 hour and you have not seen any progression (the cow is not trying).
  2. If the cow has been trying for over 30 minutes and making no progress.
  3. If the cow has quit trying for more than a 15-20 minute period. Rest periods normally should not last longer than 5-10 minutes.
  4. If the cow or calf is showing signs of stress or fatigue — like a swollen tongue in the calf, yellow staining of the calf, or severe bleeding from the cow’s rectum or vagina.
  5. If you suspect that the calf is not in the normal position.
  • If the front feet are crossed and the head is not visible, the calf may be malpositioned or too big to pass through the birth canal.
  • A thumb rule is that if the calves knees are not visible at the vulva, there is likely a problem.
  • A breeched calf is one that is being delivered tail first.  This is an emergency and requires assistance to get the back legs extended and into the birth canal.

If the calf is not in the correct position OR if you do not know if the calf is in the correct position – DO NOT attempt to forcefully extract the calf with a calf-jack or winch – call the veterinarian.


In most cases, the placenta, or “afterbirth” is delivered immediately after the calf.  There are a number of reasons why this may become delayed beyond 8 hours.  It is not an urgent emergency in cattle, but the afterbirth will need to come out.  There are several methods for handling the situation to prevent infection and decreased fertility.  See our post on retained fetal membranes for more information on how this condition is managed.


Stage and time Events
Stage 1
(2 to 6 hours)
1.Calf rotates to upright position.
2.Uterine contractions begin.
3.Water sac expelled
Stage 2 – “Delivery”
(1 hour or less)
1.Cow usually lying down.
2.Fetus enters birth canal.
3.Front feet and head protrude first.
4.Calf delivery completed.
Stage 3 – “Cleaning”
(2 to 8 hours)
1.caruncle-cotyledon (button) attachments relax.
2.Uterine contractions expel membranes.

Calves should be on their feet and nursing within 4 hours.  The cows first milk, or “colostrum”, contains antibodies that will protect the calf until it is old enough for vaccines.  These antibodies are most optimally absorbed within the first 12 hours of life, and cannot be absorbed after 24 hours of life.  Calves that do not get colostrum during this critical period are susceptible to infections and are unlikely to thrive.

See also: Calving: When to Call for Help

Cattle Euthanasia Resources


The following links provide details for handling downer cattle, as well as practical, humane euthanasia techniques in cattle.  This material may be offensive to some readers.

Grass Tetany, “Staggers” in Cattle

Grass Tetany, “Staggers” in Cattle

TheCattleSite.com published a wonderful overview of “grass tetany” this month.  Low blood levels of magnesium is the cause of grass tetany, or “grass staggers”.  This condition is normally seen in early spring, largely due to low magnesium and high potassium in lush green pastures.  The condition can cause seizures, nervousness, rigid/tetanic muscles, and even death in cattle.  Supplementing cows with a high magnesium mineral 30 days prior to calving is a great preventative as spring approaches.  Read the full article for an overview of the condition and give us a call if you suspect this condition in your animals.


English Dairy Makes it’s Own Cheese

English Dairy Makes it’s Own Cheese

The NC Farm Bureau interviewed our friends over at English Farmstead Cheese in Marion, NC about their family’s farm.  Take a look at this wonderful video, and stop by if you find yourself on NC Hwy 221 North.  The Cranberry & Pecan Spread is my new favorite.


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