Navigating Calving Season
Published: 30/01/24

Our top 5 essentials to see you through.

It’s that time of year again and prepping for calving season is in full swing. At McCabe Feeds, we understand that every calving season requires careful planning and attention to detail. It’s a busy time and having the right calving equipment in the farm before the calves start arriving is a no brainer for all suckler and beef farmers. We can make that easier for you with one stop shopping to save both time and money. Successfully managing the calving season is not only vital for your own sanity but also for the wellbeing of both pregnant cows and calves. No pressure, but it also ensures a prosperous year ahead for you.

There are many things to consider over the next few weeks including good indoor calving conditions with adequate lighting, a selection of proper calving equipment and feeders. With that in mind, the team at McCabe Feeds have compiled a list of 5 essential items to get you through the calving season and make life much easier for you, your cows and new calves.

1. Calving Equipment

It’s important to go through existing calving equipment before the season begins to make sure all are working correctly and to replace if necessary. Teagasc have a helpful list of all that you will need.

Here at McCabe Feeds you will find a range of high-quality calving equipment that includes calving jacks, calving ropes, harness and gloves, browse here

We also offer complete calving kits, essentials bundles, that supply everything needed. Check these out online or chat to our friendly experienced staff for what suits you best.


2. Lighting

Calves don’t always arrive at a perfect time between a tea break and a dinner break! It could be the middle of the night, or it could be a damp, dark evening – either way it is crucial to have adequate lighting to hand. Ensure your shed lights are also functioning and working well and have spare bulbs organised just in case. Here at McCabe Feeds we have a range of lighting and lighting accessories in stock including rechargeable head lights and torches, handheld LED torches and accessories. View our lighting products here.


3. Calf feeding

A good intake of colostrum is essential for a new calf. We know they will need 10 to 12% of their own body weight intake in the first few hours. Whether you are suckling, feeding the mothers colostrum or providing a substitute colostrum, an easy way of getting that feed into newborns makes life easier at a very busy time. View colostrum and other calf feeding essentials.

We also have a number of different calf feeders available depending on requirements or preferences. The JFC 6 teat compartment feeder, for example, is fitted with rubber teats and allow delivery of milk to the calf at an optimum level. They can be mounted on a gate or fence and their design means they are easy to clean. We also have the 12 teat Stockman Calf feeder which is a reliable, sturdy feeder with a maximum capacity of 64 litres to feed up to 12 calves at one time. View our feeders and other essentials here.

​4. Calf jacket

Calf jackets or calf coats are a wonderful addition for the weaker or the low birth weight calf to help protect against the colder weather and reduce the risk of illness or infections as a result. The immune system needs extra support over the first days and weeks of the calf’s life, so it is often recommended that they wear the calf jacket for the first 3 – 4 weeks at least.

We have a range of calf jackets here at McCabe Feeds. They are available in different sizes and can be bought in singles or in boxes of 15. The calf jackets are made from high quality, tear resistant material and come with an anatomical chest and belly fastener for additional protection. Take a look at our Calf Jackets here.  


5. The Moocall calving sensor

The Moocall calving sensor is a fantastic piece of technology which is used to monitor your pregnant cow and alert you of the onset of labour. It’s an early warning system that is especially useful for the quiet cow who might not indicate that she is bother and indeed, it allows you to carry out normal farming activities and still be on hand when the birth is imminent. This product provides you with the assurance that you will be notified as things progress towards birth, thus ensuring that you are there for the most important stage. The Moocall is easy to attach, can be used on all breeds and sizes and causes no additional stress to the cow. For more information or to order this invaluable product see.


Calving season is a vital and demanding time of year that requires careful planning and preparation. Here at McCabe Feeds, we appreciate the importance of this and we are on hand to help and assist.

If you have any queries or would like more info on any of our products, feel free to contact a member of the team for advice.

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