Spacious Calf transition pens

Spacious Calf transition pens

Each calf should have a 5X5 ft. area for laying down to ease the stress at weaning and grouping.
Moving calves from individual housing to group pens can be a traumatic experience for them. However, you can minimize the stress with proper housing, says Sam Leadley, calf and heifer management specialist at Attica Veterinary Associates,
Attica, N.Y.For instance, provide at least 25 square feet of resting space per heifer. “If heifers are disturbed frequently — which happens with reduced resting space — heifer stress levels increase,” he notes. “This stress is a precondition for illness and poor feed conversion efficiency.” Also be sure that there is enough bunk space for all heifers to eat at once and that waterers offer easy access during all weather conditions. Article from Dairy Herds Management calf and heifer advisor.

Also to reducess stress it has been recommended to wean the calf before it leaves the hutch forat least a week. Also, do not dehorn at the same time that you group or wean. In other words, spread out these management steps. It is also encouraged to give the calf a high quality DFM for 2 weeks during these management steps. This will help push intakes.

Wendell Mickelsen, Manager of Wilonna Sires

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