Calves kept at high ambient temperatures eat less.
Stressed calves with reduced appetite lose weight while their immunity declines rapidly.
Calves with heat stress therefore grow at least 15% less. ("Summer calves versus winter calves").
SOME PRACTICAL AND USEFUL TIPS:
6. Provide continuous fresh drinking water
Water improves digestion and compensates loss of water due to sweating. Calves with diarrhea especially need extra fluid intake.
At high temperatures, these animals are especially susceptible to heat stress. Hydration is then very essential.
Clean the buckets and if the drinking water in the bucket becomes warm, replace it with fresh, clean drinking water.
7. Provide the calf with extra energy
Heat stress causes a calf to use more energy, while appetite is greatly reduced by the heat.
8. Give small portions of concentrates over several feeding sessions
In hot and humid conditions, concentrates spoil faster and calves eat less.
Remove any uneaten concentrated feeds after one day. Moist or wet concentrates spoil very quickly.
9. Carry out the necessary treatments in the morning
Then you, the calves and the environment are not yet overheated.
10. Provide dry, clean and fresh bedding
Dry, clean and fresh bedding reduces heat gain caused by heating in the manure.
At very high temperatures, sand can easily reduce heat generation without risk of disease.
Source text and photo: Ronald Rongen