If you’ve got a newborn calf that’s suffering from cold stress after prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures consider these two practical ways to quickly warm it up, as recommended by Beef Magazine—a national cattle information source.
Place the calf inside your warm vehicle
If you’ve got a warm vehicle place the newborn into your truck or car to bring it back to its normal internal body temperature, which is between 101 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
After your animal is sufficiently warmed be sure that it receives colostrum, which is the first milk produced by its mother after delivery. The milk contains antibodies, immunological cells, and bioactive compounds. You can also feed the newborn a colostrum supplement, or a colostrum replacer.
Soak the calf in a warm water/ethanol (drinking alcohol) solution
Run a water bath at a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and add 40 cc of 20 percent ethanol (drinking alcohol) to the water. Allow the calf to sit in the solution. If it stands, make sure you drench and saturate its core. Continue to add warm water. It can take the newborn about one hour to regain its normal body temperature using this method, according to Drovers—an online provider of business management tips for the beef industry.
If all else fails…
If these methods don’t work for you, you should contact your veterinarian, or carry the newborn to the vet. They may be able to inject the calf with warm saline to heat its core in a faster fashion.
It’s important to note…that winds in extreme cold can be harmful to your animals. Be mindful to create windbreaks, or other types of barriers, to help limit their exposure to the elements. You should also create a buffer against the cold ground for your cattle using materials like baled cornstalk or wheat straw, suggests Beef Magazine.
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