5 tips to keep your calves healthy when it is getting colder

Joep and Brian are checking the calf shed here. They have five tips for you:

1. Check the air ventilation.
You can do this with a lighter (it should be blown out) or by throwing up some straw (it should land within a meter away). Make sure there isn't too much air flow: you don't want a draft!
2. Check the straw pack
You really want a dry pack here.
3. Check the calves
Signs we notice here are coughing and a bit of rough skin.
4. Check the temperature
Calves really need to be warm enough. Here we see jackets being used for extra warmth. Another option is to give them a bigger straw pack.
5. Check the barn set-up
In this video we like the set up with metal. However, it is a bit dark. Here, an improvement can be to go for curtains: that way you can go for great air flow and light in the warmer months and keep out the cold the rest of the time.

What is your best tip to keep calves healthy in colder times? Please share with us below.

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Comments (6)

Abdil Karhan

Altlığın çok kuru olmasi çok çok önemli hava akımı çok fazla ise burada küçük boyutlu sap balayları ile yada rüzgar filesi ile hava akimi mutlaka engellenmelidir

Haseeb ahmad

Off course we need to check these parameters for colder environments, But what should be on our checklist if we are in a hot or hot+humid environment?
Thanks in advance for your response


The shed designs will differ depending on the environment. In Uganda not very cold and the calf pens need ample air circulation.

Muhammad Iftikhar Baloch

Excellent barn. I believe it is very good for cold environment and in hot & humid countries it will also work, if calving of cows is planned during October or November. By the time summer arrives, the calves will be 6-7 months old and the partitions will be removed. Due to hogh roof, fans will work.
Thanks for sharing Joep

Joep Driessen

Hi all, thanks for your reactions! As requested, also some tips to keep them cool: Airco room, fans, or tube ventilation : fresh air without draft.

Håkan Ekman

1. Increase 1,5-2litres or more dry matter/litre. Fat% in cmr 20. First the calfe use the milk to get warm-Then to grow

2. Lying place allways dry and windspeed max 0,2 m/s. Also check windspeed from above. Cold air falls down. Build a sheld of ironmats for concrete. Put 40 cm of dry straw above. It prevents from cold air falling down and meanwhile the moisture from the calves get into the straw, stoping condense.

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