A successful calf raising management plan must involve proper attention to all of the interrelated factors affecting disease prevention, death rates, and sick calf treatment.
Neil Broadwater, University of Minnesota Extension Educator-Dairy, provides the following “ABCDEFGs” for healthy calves. They apply to every calf raising situation on farm operations of any size.
- Attention to Detail – Close attention must be paid to all calf management practices. Requires a truly concerned attitude to ensure that each calf’s daily needs are met.
- Bedding – A generous, dry bed of fluffy material provides a cushioned, comfortable resting surface to absorb moisture, reduce risk of disease, reduce stress, and help keep calves clean.
- Cleanliness – A clean environment reduces bacteria and other pathogens which take energy for a calf’s immune system to overcome.
- Dry – In dry environments, viruses and bacteria do not grow as well.
- Environment – A calf’s environment includes housing type, available space, air quality, and surfaces that they come into contact with.
- Feeding Utensils – Time must be taken to thoroughly clean and disinfect feeding utensils after each use to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Growth Success – Monitoring the growth rate of calves is important as it will ultimately affect the timing of puberty, age of first freshening, and first lactation milk production.
Read the full article by clicking on the source link below:
“The ‘ABCDEFGs’ for healthy calves” article by Neil Broadwater, University of Minnesota Extension Educator-Dairy. Retrieved from http://www1.extension.umn.edu/dairy/calves-and-heifers/the-abcdefgs-for-healthy-calves/