Dan’s Cow-Calf Corner Assessing Calf Vigor

Barry Whitworth, DVM, Senior Extension Specialist, OSU Department of Animal and Food Sciences — In human medicine newborn babies undergo an APGAR test following birth. APGAR stands for appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration.The purpose of the test is to assess how well the baby tolerated the birthing process and how well the baby is doing outside the mother’s womb. An APGAR test for calves similar to the one in human medicine would give cattle producers a clue when to intervene in a newborn’s life. Unfortunately, most attempts to develop such a test for calves have not been successful; however,…

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