How Cold Stress Affects Newborn Calves
Heather Smith Thomas
Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA
Calves that are chilled soon after birth, without immediate assistance to warm and dry them and make sure they ingest colostrum in a timely manner, have poor survival rates. If a calf’s mouth gets cold before he suckles, he may not be able to get the teat in his mouth and suck and, therefore, he may not obtain crucial energy for keeping warm and the antibodies needed to protect against disease. Also, his ability to absorb the antibodies from colostrum diminishes as he becomes colder.