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CALVES AND HEAT STRESS (part 3)

Calves kept at high ambient temperatures eat less.

Stressed calves with decreased appetite lose weight while their immunity is rapidly waning.

Calves with heat stress therefore grow at least 15% less. ("summer calves versus winter calves").

 

SOME PRACTICAL AND USEFUL TIPS FROM MY PRACTICE:

 

6. Provide continuous fresh drinking water

Water improves digestion and compensates for moisture loss due to sweating. Calves with diarrhea in particular need extra fluid. At high temperatures these animals are extra sensitive to heat stress. Hydration is then very essential.

Clean the buckets and when the drinking water in the bucket gets warm, replace it with fresh, clean drinking water.

 

7. Give the calf extra energy

Heat stress causes a calf to use more energy, while the appetite decreases sharply due to the heat.

 

8. Give small portions of concentrate over several feeding sessions

In warm and humid conditions, concentrates spoil more quickly, while the calves eat less.

Remove uneaten (concentrated) food after one day. Damp or wet concentrate spoils very quickly.

 

9. Perform the necessary treatments in the morning

Then you, the calves and the environment are not overheated yet.

 

10. Provide dry, clean and fresh litter

Dry, clean and fresh litter reduces heat development due to heating in the manure.

At very high temperatures, sand can easily reduce heat development without risk of disease.