First day

First days of life

Taking care of a newborn calf

After successful births, newborn calves face a world full of potential infections and both climate-based and nutritional challenges. Proper management of the environment the calf is born into plays a key role in its future development and milk production.


  • Newborn calves must be taken care of immediately after birth
    - Make sure that the calf is dried to avoid heat loss
    - Ensure protection from cold climate by providing adequate 
       amounts of dry bedding
    - Dip the navel with an approved iodine solution
    - Weigh the calf
  • Give at least 4L (or 10% of BW) high quality colostrum within 2 hours of birth (see section on colostrum)
  • Keep the environment draught-free
  • Design and follow hygiene protocols to avoid disease transmission
  • After difficult births, follow a special treatment routine for those calves
    - Have clear monitoring routines in place
    - Check the status and temperature of the newborn calf
       every 2 hours
  • Move the cow to an individual pen (according to farm protocol no later than 24 hours after birth)
  • Identify problems in an early stage and take immediate action


  • Wet calves
  • Not immediately attending newborn calves
  • Providing bad quality or insufficient amount of colostrum
  • Leaving weak calves unattended

You can find out much more about the first day of life in the Calf Management booklet.

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

The importance of colostrum

Calf management booklet

DeLaval calf catalogue

At DeLaval we use cookies to make your website experience better. You can change your web browser settings if you do not allow cookies or do not want cookies to be saved. Read more about how DeLaval handles cookies. I have read and accepted the information on how DeLaval handles cookies.