The winter months are almost here. To keep your calves warm and dry during the winter months, it’s important to keep calf hutches bedded properly. Ann Hoskins, calf specialist with Vita Plus, shares this winter hutch-bedding protocol.

  • Start with a clean disinfected hutch. Pressure wash, disinfect and let the hutch dry between every calf.
  • Place hutches on a clean, dry area; preferably a cement or gravel base.
  • Distribute a light layer of hydrated lime on the hutch base to disinfect and dry out the area.
  • Start with a 3-inch to 4-inch layer of shavings/ sawdust in the hutch to help absorb moisture.
  • Twelve inches of long straw is necessary for calves to nest in order to maintain their body temperature during cold weather.

Test the dryness of the hutch by kneeling in the bedding for 30 seconds. If your knee is wet or dirty, the hutch needs more bedding, says Hoskins. Calves may need to be bedded daily.