Our techs spend a lot of time in the sheds, many of them have been calf rearing before joining our vet tech team, and have some key points they focus on for a healthy shed.
Calving creeps around quicker and quicker each year and although we feel like the cows have only just been dried off it’s time to start thinking about those calf sheds and how to make them the most comfortable and hygienic.
Cleaning out the sheds and using fresh bedding each year is essential for reducing the risk of diseases in your sheds such as rotavirus. Completely clearing last season’s bedding and disinfecting the shed before putting new bedding in is the best way to avoid those pesky bugs. A freshen up with a disinfectant partway through the season will also go a long way to keep these bugs at bay. A good way to do this is using a backpack sprayer.
Checking your feeding gear is ready to go and make sure all the teats are in good condition and not leaking or cracked. Regularly cleaning gear with warm water makes a huge difference and also ensures your gear stays in tip-top shape for the season.
It’s a good time to make sure your water troughs are all working properly and not leaking. Leaking water troughs can create a huge mess and a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. It's important to keep the sheds as clean and dry as possible for the health of the calves.
Having a separate pen for sick or poorly calves is extremely beneficial in preventing any spread of disease through the sheds and lessens the competition so these sick calves have the best chance at adequate amounts of milk and less stress and therefore a quicker recovery.
Calf Rearing Kit
Stocking up on iodine spray bottles, Brix refractometer, gloves, disinfectant, electrolytes and calf feeding equipment ahead of calving is recommended. We have a selection of all within our retail areas and are happy to talk about what you need for your specific farm.
If you have any questions about getting your pens ready for the season ahead, give your KeyVet a ring and we can help you get ready for a successful season. We also offer on-farm monitoring through our WelCalf Programme.