Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Building a Calving Bucket
I find having a calving bucket very handy because it helps me to be organized and complete jobs more efficiently. My calving bucket is a tote tray with organized sections which makes for easy access and is easy to carry around or store in my truck or barn. Any kind of bucket, tray, or tool box works well. If your cows have a tendency to be curious and get into things that they shouldn't, a tool box is a simple solution. All items in the calving bucket can be purchased at your local farm supply store.
There are several things that should be included in your calving bucket, these will help with the calving process. One of the first items that should be put into your bucket is OB chains and handles. OB sleeves are also great to include to prevent disease transmission between cows and humans. Be sure to include lube in your bucket, this is used when pulling calves. J-lube or any obstetrical lube will work fine. Do not use dish soap or mineral oils to help protect the fetus. A calf catch or a good sturdy hickory cane works well as an extension of your arm to catch calves. Nylon webbing is also a good item to have in order to make a snare to pull a calf.
Items that are used in the management of your herd should be placed in your calving bucket. Ear taggers, ear tags, and a ear tag marker should be included. Another great thing to include in your bucket might be banders and bands (for bloodless castration) if you like castrating those calves when they hit the ground. Syringes and needles might be good to have, if giving any vaccinations. For permanent identification tattoo pliers and ink may be a good thing to add to your bucket. Disposable gloves are great to include to prevent ink staining. If calves have horns or scurs then having button paste and calf dehorners may be a good idea. These tools should be used in meeting practices recommended through BQA (Beef Quality Assurance).
There are several simple items that can be over looked that are useful at calving time. Disposable gloves, paper towels, and non-irritating antiseptic (iodine) to disinfect things. Scissors are good for trimming the umbilical cord and string for tying off the umbilical cord. Be sure to include a flash light with fresh batteries. A pocket knife is always handy to have around as well. One of the most important items that people forget is your calving record book and vaccination sheets. A good cattlemen needs to be a good manager.
Organizing a calving bucket is a great way to prepare for calving season. A calving bucket makes the calving process easier in the sense that all the tools needed are all in one place. I encourage each of you to build your own calving bucket.
− Daniel Brown
CHECK LIST FOR CALVING BUCKET
____ OB Chains & 2 Handles
____ OB Sleeves
____ J-Lube or Powdered Lube Mix
____ Calf Catch
____ Nylon Webbing
____ Ear Tagging Equipment
____ Banding Equipment
____ Syringes & Needles
____ Tattoo Equipment
____ Dehorning Paste (Button Paste)
____ Paper Towels
____ Non-irritating Antiseptic (Iodine)
____ Flashlight & Fresh Batteries
____ IV Sets
____ Esophageal Tube Feeder
____ Fresh Colostrum or Colostrum Mix
____ Pocket Knife
____ Bulb Aspirator