CALF HOUSING: WHAT IS IMPORTANT?
Calf housing – A newly born calf is very susceptible to infections compared to an older animal. This is why it is important to the health of the animals to house them separately during the first 8 weeks. It is also wise to install a separate drink and feed trough for each calf, and not to exchange buckets and feeding buckets between animals.
What is important when selecting a calf pen? Three main guidelines when selecting a calf pen:
1. Easy to maintain and hygienic
A hygienic calf pen is important to prevent diseases like Crypto, E-coli, Rotacorona, and coccidiosis in calves. This means that a pen which is easy to maintain is essential.
Our calf pens have a sloped surface with a groove along the back to dispose of urine. The plastic panels are also easy to clean using a pressure washer and resistant to chemicals. Our pens are also on wheels, which makes them easy to move to a place where they can be cleaned.
Cleaning and decontaminating them properly when using them for a new calf is recommended. But how should you clean a calf pen? We spoke with Jorne Brouckaert of ILVO:
Remove loose materials such as buckets
Remove any dry dirt
Apply soap and let it do its work
Rinse with a pressure washer
Decontaminate: make sure to switch products
Do not expose to bright sunlight
Rinse buckets and feed troughs.
Our hygienic table makes it easy to clean buckets and feed troughs.
The calves must have sufficient space: a calf pen must be at least 81 cm wide. Our calf pens have a width of 90 cm (Mat Pen and Multi Pen), 100 cm (XL Pen), and 140 cm (XXL Pen). This gives the calves sufficient space to lay down, to rest, to stand up, and to lick themselves.
3. Safety and comfort
The calves may not hurt themselves or get injured by the housing. We recommend placing a fence to allow for direct visual contact with the calf. Calves should not see each other to prevent the spread of disease.