Autumn-Calving cow: Correct management of the cow during the last six to eight weeks prior to calving can often have a greater effect on calving ease than the breed of the sire. Even when served to an easy-calving traditional breed, if cows are overfat there can still be problematic calvings. This is due to the fact that these cows tend to lay down fat around the birth canal, therefore reducing the available space for the calf to pass through during calving.
On average, cows tend to be between 0.5 and one condition score above last year – mainly a reflection of the good grazing conditions over the past few months. Overfat cows are also more likely to suffer from milk fever and metabolic diseases, such as ketosis or fatty liver disease either during or after calving, both of which can prove fatal.