Editor's Note: At the recent Dairy Calf and Heifer Conference in Lancaster, Pa., Dr. Sheila McGuirk, veterinarian with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, talked about coccidiosis and shedding, or the process by which an infected heifer passes eggs into her feces.
In a recent post at the Calves with Sam blog, Dr. Sam Leadley, calf management specialist with Attica (N.Y.) Veterinary Associates, writes:
- Clean, well-bedded resting space for calves.
- Optimize ventilation in the barn and calf or heifer pens.
- Provide adequate feed space per animal.
- Minimize weight and age variation between animals in the group.
- Avoid feeding on the ground unless it is at a bunk.
- Provide 12" of linear water space per 10 animals.
- Treat infected animals.
- Maximize time between successive occupants of the same pen.
It's all a numbers game. Controlling shedding, even in a pen of heifers that seem 'healthy,' cuts exposure. Lower exposure levels mean better feed conversion rates."