Meanwhile back at the ranch…

Cliff Norman, Brad Liggett and James Lawrence pictured with tools for spring calving in the dead of winter. Above is a calf warmer, esophageal feeder, OB chains and handle, powdered colostrum, calf bottle and calf puller. (Photo by Rayford Pullen)

By Rayford Pullen

Spring calving in the middle of winter has advantages and disadvantages, and in my opinion the advantages are worth dealing with in this unpredictable weather. Here are the tools we keep on hand during spring calving to ensure the health of our first calf heifers and their soon-to-be babies.  Not all of these are a requirement, but they are things we have needed at one time or another if dystocia occurs or the weather deals the new born an extremely frigid beginning.
Powdered Colostrum
No matter the reason, if a calf does not get mother’s milk soon after birth, we will use an esophageal feeder to get this down them quickly. We feel this buys the calf much needed time before he starts nursing. A bottle will also work if the calf is cooperating but will certainly try your patience.
OB chains
I prefer the 60-inch version. See the website below on how best to attach them. (
OB chain handles
This is used when a heifer only needs a little help. It simply hooks onto the OB chains, and you use your body weight to help the heifer out.

To read more pick up a copy of the February 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.