Baby, it’s still cold outside

 Resize text         Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Increased respiratory disease can be a persistent problem in naturally ventilated calf barns in winter. But do not let your guard down yet. The chilly, unpredictable weather of late winter and early spring can still present healthcompromising conditions for calves. Continue to follow these key practices that help reduce respiratory disease in naturally ventilated calf barns:

• Provide deep, fluffy bedding that covers a calf’s legs, allowing her to “nest” and lose less body heat.
• “Blankets certainly do help keep calves warm, but only if they are clean and dry,” say veterinary experts in The Dairyland Initiative NEWS, Winter 2012. “Wet blankets and bedding result in wet calves that require even more energy to stay warm than a dry calf.”
• Provide a minimal, yet necessary, number of solid dividers (only between calves for preventing spread of disease).
• Keep airborne bacterial counts low by keeping air within the pens fresh and dry. Supplemental positive pressure ventilation (tube) systems improve air quality in barns at calf level, without creating drafts.

Comments (1) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Rick Stowell    
University of Nebraska  |  March, 07, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Great article with misleading caption. In the context of respiratory disease, cold air temperature is not the concern - pens that are wet, drafty or have stale air are the concerns, and these conditions persist - and disease outbreaks often occur - during temperate weather, as was outlined well in the text.

Ag-Bag MX1012 Commercial Silage Bagger

"The Ag-Bag MX1012 Commercial Silage Bagger is an ideal engine driven mid-size bagger, designed to serve the 150 to 750 ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Leads to Insight