Five points for attention when rearing calves in colder weather
What is the most important thing in keeping your calves healthy during the winter and colder periods?
Thermoneutral zone for young calves
The thermo-neutral zone for the youngest calves is between 55-70 degrees Fahrenheit. If the calf’s ambient temperature is within the thermo-neutral zone, the calf can maintain its body temperature without requiring any extra energy. If the ambient temperature is outside this range (lower for this article), this can cause challenges for your calves and changes in management required to keep the calves healthy and growing.
Important points to consider when housing calves
There are always many points of interest, but for the calf to lose as little warmth as possible, we consider the following points to be the most important:
- Dry bedding: So that moisture can be absorbed well.
- Sufficient straw: So that the calf can lie in a nest.
- Heat lamp: Use a heat lamp for the first few days.
- Calf coat: A calf up to 4 weeks old should be covered with a calf cover to reduce the loss of warmth.
- Drinking temperature and the amount of energy supplemented in daily feedings
It is especially important to prevent drafts and to pay attention to air humidity. Proper effective ventilation is key. Moisture droplets can contain many unfavorable bacteria that will be inhaled by the calves. This increases the risk of respiratory challenges. At AHV, we prefer to prevent challenges in your calves at an early stage.
AHV Calf Start is recommended from birth to 14 days of life as a preventative to bridge the immunity gap in calves. This product is a feed additive which contains antibodies and technologies that tackle pathogenic insults at an early stage of life. It also protects the intestinal wall and prevents dehydration from digestive challenges. Digestive challenges in the early life of a calf can be not only an energy sink costing the calf early growth and development but also pave a pathway for secondary challenges.
Despite loving care and proper housing, calves can still face respiratory challenges. It is important to tackle this challenge before it has a lasting effect on the calf. AHV Respi is a proactive solution that maintains healthy respiratory tracts by adding the immune system to be effective and efficient in early bacterial challenges and keep lungs healthy. This proactive approach to lung health takes challenges off the calf and lowers its need for additional energy to be used to fight challenges of the lungs.
Boosting Calf Energy
AHV Booster Powder is another product that can be implemented as a solution in your calves. We recommend administering this product around fluctuations in temperatures and at critical challenge points in your system. This product provides extra energy, which is important in temperatures outside the thermoneutral zone. The active substances in this product aid the calves driving them to be more active and continue to eat and drink. This helps calves build up more body reserves and become less vulnerable to health challenges and non-ideal weather conditions.
Are you curious about what our solutions can do for animal health on your farm? Then please on of our sales advisors or fill in the form below.
These products are mentioned:
AHV Respi Powder