Dairy Herd Management just published an article by Maureen Hanson that will be quite beneficial for producers, especially since summer is here. Many farms prefer to keep their pre-weaned dairy calves in calf hutches, as this is said to provide many advantages. Sadly, the lack of climate control can be hard on calves and may cause them to experience heat stress.
Jud Heinrichs and Colleen Jones are educators at Penn State University’s Dairy Extension. According to them, certain factors like excessive humidity, high temperatures, and the hot sun can cause heat stress in calves. Hair coat, bedding, moisture, air movement, and also rumination activity are some other factors that may come into play.
Heinricks and Jones urge producers to provide their calves with proper shade and perhaps face the hatches toward the east. Calves should be allowed to move around. Hutches may also be elevated with concrete blocks, which will increase the airflow. Producers may provide free-choice water to improve body hydration. They also advise farmers to provide calves with fresh starter grain. This can be done by offering it in lesser quantities to prevent spoilage. You can read the full article here.
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