During its first few hours of life — and even its first few months if it’s winter — a calf is quite vulnerable. Even though they are able to adapt to their environment quite well, a calf’s health can be adversely affected if it gets too cold.
They can quickly lose body heat, and the resulting stress can bring on health complications.
“Keeping them dry and out of the wind, with lots of straw available is important,” says JW Schroeder, dairy specialist with North Dakota State University.
Mother cows will dry off newborns as best they can, but it’s a good idea to help out by drying and warming the calf further. Putting an insulated calf coat or calf blanket on the animal helps more than you would probably guess.
Schroeder did a research study at the University which included observing the cattle at a North Dakota dairy. The results showed that during the first month of life, dairy calves in coats gained a full .2 pounds more per day than those without (1.4 pounds compared to 1.2 pounds).
The idea is to help the calf be more resilient by protecting him when he most needs it.
Jeffers Livestock carries a few options. Both have a hook and loop fastener in the front and adjustable hind leg straps.
The Calf Blanket has a water-resistant outer shell and is quilted inside. It measures 33″ from the base of the neck to the base of the tail.
The insulated Calf Coat offers extra protection for very cold regions. It has a water resistant 600 denier outer shell and a quilted interior with 240 grams of insulation.
You’ll find many benefits to using a calf coat or blanket when your calves are newly born. And your calves will thank you for keeping them warm and dry when they need it most, by growing strong and healthy.
For more quality cattle products, also be sure to check out Jeffers Livestock’s Cattle Department.