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Last updated on October 5th, 2023 at 03:12 pm

Weak calves. Sick calves. Calves that won’t get up and suck.

Do any of those difficulties sound familiar to you? Weak newborn calves that don’t get up right away are the cause of frustration for ranchers across the continent. Not only do they cost you extra time and hard work, but calves that are born weak and limp are more likely to struggle throughout the rest of their life. 

To have the highest chance of improving calf vigor, you need to think about impacting the strength and energy of the calf long before it is born. If you wait until the calf hits the ground to start supplementing it, unfortunately, you’re too late.

You all know that the faster the calf gets up and gets colostrum from its mother, the faster the calf can get going, growing, and developing. Those first moments play a critical role in the rest of the calf’s life; colostrum brings antibodies and provides passive immunity to that calf to help it fight off disease challenges in order for it to have a more productive life. 

How can you ensure that the calf is born with vigor so it can get up immediately?

How does a quality cattle mineral supplement help prevent weak newborn calves?

The best way to make a positive impact on your next calving season is to be proactive. That simply means to think ahead. What can you do before the calf hits the ground to ensure it starts its life out right?

The first thing to do is analyze your mineral supplement program (or look into one if you don’t have anything currently). A quality mineral program during the third trimester is essential to giving the calf what it needs in order to be healthy once it’s born. As Dr. Hall, a professor from Utah State University, says, every calf has a "mineral bucket". It's important to fill that bucket during the third trimester, so that when the calf is born, it has a sufficient amount of all the minerals and nutrients it needs. In turn, the calf will be stronger, more energetic, and most importantly, healthy! 

Here at Riomax®, our products have a mineral pack in them that is designed to help fill the calf’s mineral bucket. We’re not here to tell you that Riomax® is the only solution, but there are a few key things to look for in a supplement program to ensure it does the job it’s supposed to. 

  1. It must have 100% protected key trace minerals - no less! This is critical, because when minerals are completely protected, they  have the highest chance of getting through the rumen, into the bloodstream, and passed on to the fetus. 
  2. A solid, multi-component digestion pack is something that cannot be overlooked either. A good quality digestion package’s job is to work with the rumen microbes and enable cows to pull more nutrients out of their existing forages and utilize them. 

Together, 100% protected key trace minerals and a multi-component digestion pack create a synergistic powerhouse that will promote herd health, calf vigor, and maximize your herd’s genetic potential. 

Improve calf vigor this year, and for years to come.

The first step to stronger, more energetic calves is a quality mineral supplement - not just once the calf is born, but all throughout the 9 long months of gestation. 

For the very best results, we’d recommend starting the supplement program as soon as your cows are bred. That will give you the best chance of a healthy calf crop not only at calving, but for the rest of the calves’ lives. As one rancher from Georgia says, “A calf never gets over a good start!

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