Earlier this year the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association released a set of Gold Standards to establish production and performance standards for Holstein calves, from birth to 6 months of age, across the U.S.
Here are some tips to help you achieve a gold star for housing:
Housing for calves 24 hours to 60 days of age should be clean and dry. It should also be draft-free, yet have good air quality. The housing provided needs to be sufficient in size so the calf can turn around.
For calves 61 to 120 days of age, standards call for housing to be clean and dry. Housing must provide a draft-free environment with good air quality. There needs to be a minimum of 34 square feet per animal of resting space. Adequate feeding space for all animals to eat at the same time is another requirement.
As with the earlier age standards, targeted housing standards for calves 121 to 180 days of age should have good air quality but be draft-free. A minimum of 40 square feet per animal of resting space in bedded-pack housing is essential. If animals are in free stall housing, there should be one stall per animal. Provide adequate feeding space for all animals to eat at the same time.