Pre-Calving Checklist

The following is a list of things that may be useful for you to check off, from when the last calf leaves the shed right up until your next calving season…

Download a copy of the list here!


❏ Bedding cleaned out when the last calf leaves the shed
❏ Partitions and walls scrubbed
❏ Partitions, walls and floors disinfected
❏ New bedding +/- shade mesh +/- scoria ordered
❏ Any changes needed to improve ventilation made NOW
❏ Can isolation pens be improved?


❏ Record morbidity and mortality rates permanently on computer
❏ Compare to targets – how did you do?
❏ Improve disease recording if needed (eg buy a new white board, new markers)

Dry off and vaccination

❏ Plan appropriate vaccine/s schedule (eg which vaccines; 2 shot initial course or annual booster?)
❏ Compile accurate list of cow due dates
❏ Vaccinate cows at appropriate times (see product instructions)
❏ If cows were leaking milk at previous calving, consider teat sealing/assess technique

Assisted calvings

❏ Chains, head snare
❏ Pulley/calving jack in working order
❏ Obstetrical lubricant
❏ Calf resuscitator/towels for drying and stimulating calves

Colostrum management & newborn care

❏ 7% iodine for spraying navels
❏ New colostrum storage equipment (eg Perfect Udder, juice/milk bottles)
❏ New colostrum feeding equipment (eg Perfect udder bags/tube feeders)
❏ Brix refractometer for assessing colostrum quality –recalibrated
❏ Potassium sorbate for preserving colostrum
❏ New fridge? New freezer?
❏ New jugs for pouring colostrum into feeders

Treatment of sick calves

❏ Review of treatment protocols with staff
❏ Box of gloves, special boots & overalls in calf shed for treating sick calves
❏ Electrolytes bought
❏ Sick-calf only feeders (for milk & electrolytes)
❏ New calf blankets?
❏ 5 ml syringes and 18 gauge 1 inch needles


❏ Replace old and scratched feeders
❏ Replace teats
❏ If feeding milk replacer: scales and jugs for accurate measuring
❏ Order calf concentrate (pellets or meal) – ensure contain 18–20% crude protein & 33ppm of a coccidiostat