It’s time to get out your winter gear and re-establish your winter protocols for calves.

“Although we’re a few weeks away from implementing all of the winter protocols, temperatures are dropping fast and it’s better to be ready than scramble at the last minute,” advises Ann Hoskins, calf products coordinator for Vita Plus.

In the October 2012 Vita Plus Starting Strong Calf Care E-Newsletter, Hoskins discusses cold-weather preparations that help calves manage colder temperatures. She focuses on these four areas:

  • Maternity and newborn pens
  • Nutrition
  • Bedding
  • Calf jackets

Hoskins also reminds calf caregivers to do the following things during the colder months:

  • Provide enough energy in the diet to maintain growth and performance.
  • Slowly transition to the winter feeding program. Changing solids levels too quickly may cause calves to bloat or go off feed.
  • Give calves access to fresh, clean, warm water starting at three days of age.
  • Offer fresh starter daily at day 3.
  • House calves in a clean, draft-free, dry and well-bedded environment.
  • Bed calves with a 12-inch layer of long straw to allow nesting.
  • Use calf jackets for calves younger than three weeks.
  • Clean, sanitize and dry feeding equipment between consecutive feedings.


Source: Vita Plus Starting Strong Calf Care E-Newsletter, October 2012