We know it’s only August and there’s a lot of harvesting and silaging to be done between now and Autumn. But, should you magically find time on your hands, you might want to look ahead to check your calf housing prior to winter. Vikki Stockdale, our latest VetTech to join the team, gives us some tips.

I know Autumn and Winter is probably buried somewhere far away in your mind at this moment in time. I wish it was in mine, but as I’m writing this it’s 30+ degrees in the practice and we’re longing for some rain – someone fetch a sprinkler!

In all seriousness though, should you find some time, it would be a great idea to check and assess your calf housing (and other housing!) before the wet and cold weather sets in. Try and think back to January and February this year. Was there a point where you thought, “I must look at fixing or changing that for next year”? It could be:

  • A leaking roof
  • An annoying draught that caused a chill
  • Drainage issues
  • Broken hutches
  • Layout problems
  • Or even protocols to be updated

If you can’t quite remember, then if you have the VetTech team to do your calf routine, don’t hesitate to ask them for any suggested improvements – they might have seen something small that could make a really big difference to your calf health. We have a calf checklist that we can carry out on farm, so let us know if you’re interested.

Just think, fixing pens / leaks now will be so much more pleasant than in the driving rain! You’ll be giving yourself a pat on the back and your calves will probably appreciate it too.

Some Links:

The effect of the design of housing systems for calves on the microclimatic conditions of the rearing environment

AHDB – Better Calf Housing