Calving time is here. Do you have your supplies ready?  These lists will help you make sure you’re prepared:
Supplies and Equipment for Assisting Deliveries:
  • Bucket (stainless steel or heavy plastic/rubber) for water + disinfectant
  • Source of warm water
  • Old plastic cup from the convenience store – use it to dip water from the bucket to clean up the cow
  • Disinfectant, preferably cow-friendly (Nolvasan, iodine-based, etc.—get what your vet uses)
  • Antiseptic soap (surgical scrub like Nolvasan scrub, betadine—get what your vet uses)
  • OB sleeves
  • OB lubricant – get what your vet uses, and have a lot on hand
  • OB chains – better than straps or ropes for cleanliness.  One long one with loops on each end works best
  • OB handles
  • Calf puller in good repair
  • Head snare
  • Bristle brush – for cleaning up equipment afterwards
Supplies and Equipment for Getting the Calf Up and Going:
  • Old towels — for cleanup and for rubbing calf after delivery
  • Disinfectant for navel (iodine, etc. – on recommendation from vet)
  • New syringes & needles for medication
  • Tubing bag/esophageal feeder – one that can be thoroughly cleaned between calves
  • Colostrum replacer (not colostrum supplement — for emergencies when the real stuff is not available)
  • Smaller gallon bucket for collecting colostrum or mixing colostrum/milk replacer powder – thoroughly clean after use.
  • Wire whisk – makes mixing powder easy; thoroughly clean after use.
Supplies and Equipment for Treating Baby Calves:
  • Bottles/nipples or tubing bag/esophageal feeder – thoroughly clean after each use
  • Milk replacer
  • Syringes/needles for medication
  • Medications/preventatives as outlined by your veterinarian (such as antitoxins, antibiotics, vitamin injections, etc.)
  • Electrolyte powder for scouring calves
  • Smaller gallon bucket for mixing milk replacer/electrolyte – clean after each use
  • Wire whisk
  • Ear tags, applicators and markers
  • Elastrator bands
  • Butane refills for portable dehorners
Shopping List (dispensable items)
  • Disinfectant for chains and equipment
  • Disinfectant for calf’s navel (different than what you use for equipment)
  • Antiseptic soap for washing the cow
  • OB sleeves
  • OB lubricant
  • Syringes & needles
  • Colostrum replacer or supplement
  • Milk replacer
  • Electrolyte powder for scouring calves
  • Tubing bags/esophageal feeders
  • Nipples for milk bottles
  • “Calf claim”-type products
  • Medications/preventatives as outlined by your veterinarian
  • Ear tags and markers
  • Elastrator bands
  • Butane refills for portable dehorners
There are a wide variety of products available to make life easier for cow-calf producers at calving time.  Perhaps the best information source regarding what works best for your situation is your local veterinarian, as they usually have a wealth of experience working with the various products.

Source: Russell Daly | South Dakota State University