“It’s a common misnomer for people to believe that it has to be freezing for their calves to experience cold stress,” says Tom Earleywine, technical services director for Land O’Lakes Animal Milk Products. “Calves can, in fact, experience cold stress at much warmer temperatures.”
Calves less than three weeks of age can experience cold stress at temperatures just below 60 degrees F. Calves greater than 21 days of age can experience cold stress at 42 degrees F.
A look at the five-year averages for ambient temperatures year-round across the U.S. reveals that three-week-old calves in Wisconsin and New York could experience cold stress 247 and 243 days of the year, respectively. Calves in California could experience cold stress 181 days of the year.
Know the average number of days per year in your state where calves experience cold stress.
“Don’t be fooled into thinking because you live in a warm-weather state your calves aren’t susceptible,” says Earleywine.
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