Bedding management should be high on the list of concerns for any dairy farmer. A dry bed makes for a warm bed- meaning more efficient calves. Research shows that damp bedding can contribute to respiratory diseases, scours and heat loss during cooler weather- hindering growth.
In order to keep calves dry and warm – you’ll need to provide a deep bed to nestle in when it’s cold. It’s important to keep their coats dry, to prevent risks of respiratory diseases.
Here’s some tips for giving your calves the best start when it comes to their bedding:
- Start clean to stay clean!Wash and disinfect hutches or pens before you begin – allowing them to dry completely between occupants!
- If using straw for nesting – a deep base of 4-5 inches of an absorbent dry sawdust/shavings mix will increase absorbency, as well as an insulated base.
- Provide a fluffy materialon top for nesting and warmth – whether straw or shavings.. Only about a third of the legs should be visible when lying down. Top up little and often.
- Use your knees!Drop onto your knees in the bedding for half a minute – if you’re knees are cold or wet, the bedding isn’t clean enough or sufficient.
- Ensure the building is well ventilatedif indoors- to promote overall health as well as keeping bedding as dry as possible.
Platts MixBed is an ideal absorbent base option for calf pens and igloos, loose housing – as well as cubicles- and provides a completely dry cushioned bed. Read more about MixBed here or contact us to find out more!