Taking care of our calves is important to taking care of the overall health of the herd. Calves are important to the future of ranching, and can tell a story about how the rest of the herd is doing. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on calves, and pregnant heifers, to ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need, and that we’re supplementing them if they’re not. To learn more about how we take care of the health of our herd, visit our Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch blog. Now let’s learn more about vitamin A and why calves need it. 

Understanding the Role of Vitamin A in Calves

As an essential nutrient, vitamin A plays an important role in the health of all cattle, but it’s especially important to younger members of the herd. Vitamin A helps preserve a healthy immune system, ensure calves grow at a stable rate, and, eventually, assist in a healthy reproductive process. It’s also vital for heifers to have good access to vitamin A throughout pregnancy for the health of the mothers, along with supplying young calves with enough vitamin A post-birth. 

Effects of Vitamin A Deficiency

In the event of a vitamin A deficiency in calves, you’ll notice detrimental effects in growth and immunity. Symptoms can include overall weakness, increased susceptibility to disease, like diarrhea or respiratory illness, reduced food intake, a rough coat, and, in extreme deficiency, a white film over the eye.

Preventing Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A actually cannot be passed to calves in utero, so it’s important that they immediately start building up their stores of vitamin A once they’re born. They can do this through their mother’s milk, so supplying enough vitamin A through rich green grass, or supplements if only stored forage is available, is an easy way to ensure calves are getting the nutrients they need. Interested in seeing our farm? Visit us for an agritour.

We care about the health of the cattle, from calf to the end of processing, as we know that’s what makes a great steak. Interested in yours from Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch? Get your own premium grass-fed beef from our website here.