Before birth

Taking care of your pregnant heifers

Dry and gestation periods are important to the future productivity of your herd. By properly managing nutrition and comfort during these critical stages in a cow’s life, you will help rear healthy, strong calves that have the best start possible.

There are some useful pointers to keep in mind during the pre-birth phase and you’ll find more -comprehensive details by clicking on the Calf management booklet.         


  • Allow a minimum dry period of 45 days
  • Adapt the dry cow ration to prevent over-conditioned heifers
  • Feed the heifer with sufficient supplements of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Provide tasty forage of high hygienic quality, cleand and fresh water
  • Watch close-up cows carefully at least twice a day
  • If needed, vaccinate the dry cows to boost antibody level in colostrum 


  • Short dry periods
  • High calcium or potassium intake
  • Moving cows 10-3 days before calving
  • Heat stress in late gestation
  • Overstocking of close-up cows
  • Sudden changes in ration ingredients
  • Calving on slats or in the cubicles 

Contact your local DeLaval sales representative to learn all about calf management.

Calf management booklet

DeLaval calf catalogue

Do you want to find out more about how to enhance your calf management?

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